Functional Brain Mapping during Electrical Stimulation of the Hegu, an Acuspot of the Hand

Author: Itoh M 1//Endo M 1//Kanazawa M 2//Miyake M 1////
Affiliation: Div. Nuclear Medicine, Cyclotron Radioisotope Center, Tohoku Univ. (Sendai, Japan) [1]//Dept. Human Behavioral Science, Tokoku Univ. School of Medicine (Sendai, Japan) [2]
Conference/Journal: J Intl Soc Life Info Science
Date published: 2001
Other: Volume ID: 19 , Issue ID: 2 , Pages: 367-369 , Word Count: 129

Stimulation of acupuncture spots is known to activate the brain. In this study the Hegu, a major acuspot of the hand was stimulated by transcutaneous electrical stimulation (TENS) and regional brain function was evaluated by blood flow mapping using positron emission tomography (PET). The timing of PET and TENS was controlled so that the brain was scanned during, 1 min after, and 3 min after TENS stimulations which lasted for 70 seconds. Statistical parametric analysis using SPM99 revealed substantial activations in the thalamus, anterior cingulated, reticular formation, basofrontal area, and postcentral gyrus. These brain activations gradually diminished with time and only the lateral part of the cerebellum remained active 3 min after TENS. The results support the idea that TENS stimulation of an acuspot activates neural networks related to sensory perception and emotion.