Different Brain Activation after Acupuncture at Combined Acupoints and Single Acupoint in Hypertension Patients: An Rs-fMRI Study Based on ReHo Analysis.

Research paper by Jiping J Zhang, Xiaowen X Cai, Yanjie Y Wang, Yu Y Zheng, Shanshan S Qu, Zhinan Z Zhang, Zengyu Z Yao, Guanghong G Chen, Chunzhi C Tang, Yong Y Huang

Indexed on: 06 Feb '19Published on: 06 Feb '19Published in: Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine : eCAM


Acupuncture is proved to be effective on hypertension by numerous studies and resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (Rs-fMRI) is a widely used technique to study its mechanism. Along with lower blood pressure, patients with hypertension receiving acupuncture also presented improvement in function of cognition, emotion, language, sematic sensation, and so on. This study was a primary study to explore the acting path of acupuncture at combined acupoints in stimulated brain areas related to such functions. In this research, regional homogeneity (ReHo) was applied to analyze the Rs-fMRI image data of brain activities after acupuncture at LR3, KI3, and LR3+KI3 and to compare the differences of functional brain activities between stimulating combined acupoints and single acupoint under pathological conditions. A total of thirty hypertension patients underwent Rs-fMRI scanning before acupuncture treatment and then were randomly divided into three groups following random number table, the LR3 group (3 males and 7 females), the KI3 group (3 males and 7 females), and the LR3+ KI3 group (4 males and 6 females) for needling, respectively. When the 30-min treatment finished, they received a further Rs-fMRI scanning. The Rs-fMRI data before and after the acupuncture treatment were analyzed through ReHo. Compared with preacupuncture, respectively, ReHo values increased in Brodmann areas (BAs) 3, 18, and 40 and decreased in BAs 7 and 31 in LR3+ KI3 group. However, ReHo values only decreased in BA7 of KI3 group while the results showed no significant difference of brain regions in LR3 group between pre- and postacupuncture. Compared with LR3 group, LR3+KI3 group exhibited decreased ReHo values in BAs 7, 9, and 31. Meanwhile, compared with KI3 group, LR3+KI3 group exhibited increased ReHo values in the BAs 2, 18, 30, and 40 and decreased ReHo values in BA13. Combined acupoints of LR3 and KI3 could act on wider brain areas than the sum of single acupoints, whose functions include emotional processing, cognition, somatic sensation, spatial orientation, language production, and vision.

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