Thirty minute transcutaneous electric acupoint stimulation modulates resting state brain activities: A perfusion and BOLD fMRI study.

Author: Jiang Y, Hao Y, Zhang Y, Liu J, Wang X, Han J, Fang J, Zhang J, Cui C.
Affiliation: Neuroscience Research Institute, Peking University; Department of Neurobiology, School of Basic Medical Sciences, Peking University; Key Laboratory of Neuroscience, The Ministry of Education and Ministry of Public Health, Beijing, China.
Conference/Journal: Brain Res.
Date published: 2012 Apr 3
Other: Word Count: 213

Increasing neuroimaging studies have focused on the sustained after effects of acupuncture, especially for the changes of brain activities in rest. However, short-period stimuli have mostly been chosen in these works. The present study aimed to investigate how the resting state brain activities in healthy subjects were modulated by relatively long-period (30min) acupuncture, a widely used modality in clinical practice. Transcutaneous electric acupoint stimulation (TEAS) or intermittent minimal TEAS (MTEAS) were given for 30min to 40 subjects. Functional MRI (fMRI) data were collected including the pre-stimulation resting state and the post-stimulation resting state, using dual-echo arterial spin labeling (ASL) techniques, representing both cerebral blood flow (CBF) signals and blood oxygen-dependent level (BOLD) signals simultaneously. Following 30min TEAS, but not MTEAS, the mean global CBF decreased, and a significant decrease of regional CBF was observed in SI, insula, STG, MOG and IFG. Functional connectivity analysis showed more secure and spatially extended connectivity of both the DMN and SMN after 30min TEAS. Our results implied that modulation of the regional brain activities and network connectivity induced by thirty minute TEAS may associate with the acupuncture-related therapeutic effects. Furthermore, the resting state regional CBF quantified by ASL perfusion fMRI may serve as a potential biomarker in future acupuncture studies.
Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
PMID: 22541167