Abstract Title:

Modulatory effects of acupuncture on brain networks in mild cognitive impairment patients.

Abstract Source:

Neural Regen Res. 2017 Feb ;12(2):250-258. PMID: 28400807

Abstract Author(s):

Ting-Ting Tan, Dan Wang, Ju-Ke Huang, Xiao-Mei Zhou, Xu Yuan, Jiu-Ping Liang, Liang Yin, Hong-Liang Xie, Xin-Yan Jia, Jiao Shi, Fang Wang, Hao-Bo Yang, Shang-Jie Chen

Article Affiliation:

Ting-Ting Tan


Functional magnetic resonance imaging has been widely used to investigate the effects of acupuncture on neural activity. However, most functional magnetic resonance imaging studies have focused on acute changes in brain activation induced by acupuncture. Thus, the time course of the therapeutic effects of acupuncture remains unclear. In this study, 32 patients with amnestic mild cognitive impairment were randomly divided into two groups, where they received either Tiaoshen Yizhi acupuncture or sham acupoint acupuncture. The needles were either twirled at Tiaoshen Yizhi acupoints, including Sishencong (EX-HN1), Yintang (EX-HN3), Neiguan (PC6), Taixi (KI3), Fenglong (ST40), and Taichong (LR3), or at related sham acupoints at a depth of approximately 15 mm, an angle of± 60°, and a rate of approximately 120 times per minute. Acupuncture was conducted for 4 consecutive weeks, five times per week, on weekdays. Resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging indicated that connections between cognition-related regions such as the insula, dorsolateral prefrontalcortex, hippocampus, thalamus, inferior parietal lobule, and anterior cingulate cortex increased after acupuncture at Tiaoshen Yizhi acupoints. The insula, dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, and hippocampus acted as central brain hubs. Patients in the Tiaoshen Yizhi group exhibited improved cognitiveperformance after acupuncture. In the sham acupoint acupuncture group, connections between brain regions were dispersed, and we found no differences in cognitive function following the treatment. These results indicate that acupuncture at Tiaoshen Yizhi acupoints can regulate brain networks by increasing connectivity between cognition-related regions, thereby improving cognitive function in patients with mild cognitive impairment.

Study Type : Human Study

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Sayer Ji
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