The modulation effect of longitudinal acupuncture on resting state functional connectivity in knee osteoarthritis patients.
ABSTRACT: Recent advances in brain imaging have contributed to our understanding of the neural activity associated with acupuncture treatment. In this study, we investigated functional connectivity across longitudinal acupuncture treatments in older patients with knee osteoarthritis (OA). Over a period of 4 weeks (six treatments), we collected resting state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scans from 30 patients before and after their first, third and sixth treatments. Clinical outcome showed a significantly greater pain subscore on the Knee Injury and Osteoarthritis Outcome Score (KOOS) (indicative of improvement) with verum acupuncture than with sham acupuncture. Independent component analysis (ICA) of the resting state fMRI data showed that the right frontoparietal network (rFPN) and the executive control network (ECN) showed enhanced functional connectivity (FC) with the rostral anterior cingulate cortex/medial prefrontal cortex, a key region in the descending pain modulatory system, in the verum groups as compared to the sham group after treatments. We also found that the rFPN connectivity with the left insula is (1) significantly associated with changes in KOOS pain score after treatments, and (2) significantly enhanced after verum acupuncture treatments as compared to sham treatment. Analysis of the acupuncture needle stimulation scan showed that compared with sham treatment, verum acupuncture activated the left operculum/insula, which also overlaps with findings observed in resting state analysis. Our results suggest that acupuncture may achieve its therapeutic effect on knee OA pain by modulating functional connectivity between the rFPN, ECN and the descending pain modulatory pathway.NCT01079390.
Project description:In this study, we investigated cortical thickness and functional connectivity across longitudinal acupuncture treatments in patients with knee osteoarthritis (OA). Over a period of four weeks (six treatments), we collected resting state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scans from 30 patients before their first, third and sixth treatments. Clinical outcome showed a significantly greater Knee Injury and Osteoarthritis Outcome Score (KOOS) pain score (improvement) with verum acupuncture compared to the sham acupuncture. Longitudinal cortical thickness analysis showed that the cortical thickness at left posterior medial prefrontal cortex (pMPFC) decreased significantly in the sham group across treatment sessions as compared with verum group. Resting state functional connectivity (rsFC) analysis using the left pMPFC as a seed showed that after longitudinal treatments, the rsFC between the left pMPFC and the rostral anterior cingulate cortex (rACC), medial frontal pole (mFP) and periaquiduct grey (PAG) are significantly greater in the verum acupuncture group as compared with the sham group. Our results suggest that acupuncture may achieve its therapeutic effect on knee OA pain by preventing cortical thinning and decreases in functional connectivity in major pain related areas, therefore modulating pain in the descending pain modulatory pathway.
Project description:Aims This study aims to investigate the resting-state functional connectivity (rs-fc) of the right frontoparietal network (rFPN) between migraineurs and healthy controls (HCs) in order to determine how the rFPN rs-fc can be modulated by effective treatment. Methods One hundred patients and 46 matched HCs were recruited. Migraineurs were randomized to verum acupuncture, sham acupuncture, and waiting list groups. Resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging data were collected before and after longitudinal treatments. Independent component analysis was applied in the data analysis. Results We found that migraineurs showed decreased rs-fc between the rFPN and bilateral precuneus compared with HCs. After treatments (real and sham), rFPN rs-fc with the precuneus was significantly reduced. This reduction was associated with headache intensity relief. In order to explore the role of the precuneus in acupuncture modulation, we performed a seed-based rs-fc analysis using the precuneus as a seed and found that the precuneus rs-fc with the bilateral rostral anterior cingulate cortex/medial prefrontal cortex, ventral striatum, and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex was significantly enhanced after treatment. Conclusion Our results suggest that migraineurs are associated with abnormal rFPN rs-fc. An effective treatment, such as acupuncture, may relieve symptoms by strengthening the cognitive adaptation/coping process. Elucidation of the adaptation/coping mechanisms may open up a new window for migraine management.
Project description:Fibromyalgia is a chronic pain condition with few effective treatments. Many fibromyalgia patients seek acupuncture for analgesia; however, its efficacy is limited and not fully understood. This may be due to heterogeneous pathologies among participants in acupuncture clinical trials. We hypothesized that pressure pain tenderness would differentially classify treatment response to verum and sham acupuncture in fibromyalgia patients.Baseline pressure pain sensitivity at the thumbnail at baseline was used in linear mixed models as a modifier of differential treatment response to sham versus verum acupuncture. Similarly, needle-induced sensation was also analyzed to determine its differential effect of treatment on clinical pain.A cohort of 114 fibromyalgia patients received baseline pressure pain testing and were randomized to either verum (N?=?59) or sham (N?=?55) acupuncture. Participants received treatments from once a week to three times a week, increasing in three-week blocks for a total of 18 treatments. Clinical pain was measured on a 101-point visual analog scale, and needle sensation was measured by questionnaire throughout the trial.Participants who had higher pain pressure thresholds had greater reduction in clinical pain following verum acupuncture while participants who had lower pain pressure thresholds showed better analgesic response to sham acupuncture. Moreover, patients with lower pressure pain thresholds had exacerbated clinical pain following verum acupuncture. Similar relationships were observed for sensitivity to acupuncture needling.These findings suggest that acupuncture efficacy in fibromyalgia may be underestimated and a more personalized treatment for fibromyalgia may also be possible.
Project description:Placebo treatments and healing rituals share much in common, such as the effects of expectancy, and have been used since the beginning of human history to treat pain. Previous mechanistic neuroimaging studies investigating the effects of expectancy on placebo analgesia have used young, healthy volunteers. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), we aimed to investigate the neural mechanisms by which expectancy evokes analgesia in older adults living with a chronic pain disorder and determine whether there are interactions with active treatment. In this fMRI study, we investigated the brain networks underlying expectancy in participants with chronic pain due to knee osteoarthritis (OA) after verum (genuine) and sham electroacupuncture treatment before and after experiencing calibrated experimental heat pain using a well tested expectancy manipulation model. We found that expectancy significantly and similarly modulates the pain experience in knee OA patients in both verum (n?=?21, 11 female; mean?±?SD age 57?±?7 years) and sham (n?=?22, 15 female; mean?±?SD age 59?±?7 years) acupuncture treatment groups. However, there were different patterns of changes in fMRI indices of brain activity associated with verum and sham treatment modalities specifically in the lateral prefrontal cortex. We also found that continuous electroacupuncture in knee OA patients can evoke significant regional coherence decreases in pain associated brain regions. Our results suggest that expectancy modulates the experience of pain in knee OA patients but may work through different pathways depending on the treatment modality and, we speculate, on pathophysiological states of the participants. PERSPECTIVE:To investigate the neural mechanisms underlying pain modulation, we used an expectancy manipulation model and fMRI to study response to heat pain stimuli before and after verum or sham acupuncture treatment in chronic pain patients. Both relieve pain and each is each associated with a distinct pattern of brain activation.
Project description:Recent studies support the view that cortical sensory, limbic and executive networks and the autonomic nervous system might interact in distinct manners under the influence of acupuncture to modulate pain. We performed a double-blind crossover design study to investigate subjective ratings, EEG and ECG following experimental laser pain under the influence of sham and verum acupuncture in 26 healthy volunteers. We analyzed neuronal oscillations and inter-regional coherence in the gamma band of 128-channel-EEG recordings as well as heart rate variability (HRV) on two experimental days. Pain ratings and pain-induced gamma oscillations together with vagally-mediated power in the high-frequency bandwidth (vmHF) of HRV decreased significantly stronger during verum than sham acupuncture. Gamma oscillations were localized in the prefrontal cortex (PFC), mid-cingulate cortex (MCC), primary somatosensory cortex and insula. Reductions of pain ratings and vmHF-power were significantly correlated with increase of connectivity between the insula and MCC. In contrast, connectivity between left and right PFC and between PFC and insula correlated positively with vmHF-power without a relationship to acupuncture analgesia. Overall, these findings highlight the influence of the insula in integrating activity in limbic-saliency networks with vagally mediated homeostatic control to mediate antinociception under the influence of acupuncture.
Project description:Objectives:Acupuncture is often used for relieving symptoms of fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS). Our aim is to ascertain whether verum acupuncture is more effective than sham acupuncture in FMS. Methods:We collected RCTs to investigate the effects of verum acupuncture and sham acupuncture on pain, sleep quality, fatigue, and general status in FMS patients. The databases used for data retrieval were PubMed, Central Cochrane, EMBASE, PsycINFO, CNKI, VIP, OASIS, KoreaMed, and RISS. Selection/exclusion from the retrieved records was performed according to prespecified criteria, and the final selected records were assessed according to the Cochrane risk of bias tool. The results of the included trials were synthesized on the basis of outcomes, and subgroup analysis depended on the type of add-on sham acupuncture that was performed. Results:Ten RCTs (690 participants) were eligible, and eight RCTs were eventually included in the meta-analysis. The synthesis showed a sizable effect of verum acupuncture compared with sham acupuncture on pain relief (standardized mean difference (SMD) -0.49, Z?=?3.26, P=0.001; I 2?=?59%), improving sleep quality (SMD -0.46, Z?=?3.24, P=0.001; I 2?=?0%), and reforming general status (SMD -0.69, Z?=?6.27, P < 0.00001; I 2?=?4%). However, efficacy on fatigue was insignificant (SMD -0.10, Z?=?0.51, P=0.61; I 2?=?46%). When compared with a combination of simulation and improper location of needling, the effect of verum acupuncture for pain relief was the most obvious. Conclusions:Verum acupuncture is more effective than sham acupuncture for pain relief, improving sleep quality, and reforming general status in FMS posttreatment. However, evidence that it reduces fatigue was not found.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Randomised controlled trials of acupuncture performed using sham interventions to control for the placebo effect have mostly used two types of sham techniques: techniques with minimal insertion of acupuncture needles with no additional stimulation (shallow needling control) and techniques with sham acupuncture devices that do not penetrate the skin (sham device control). To achieve successful blinding, sham device controlled acupuncture trials also use the acupuncture base unit in the verum acupuncture group, but in the shallow needling control trials this is not necessary for the verum acupuncture treatment. OBJECTIVE:In this study, we analysed the estimated comparative effectiveness of these two verum acupuncture modalities in studies of acupuncture for menopausal hot flashes that used two types of sham control treatments. METHODS:We conducted a network meta-analysis that included randomised controlled trials of acupuncture for hot flashes. Electronic databases, including Medline, Embase, Cochrane Library and AMED, were searched through March 2017. Data were extracted using a predefined data extraction tool by two independent reviewers. The risk of bias was assessed using the Cochrane risk of bias tool for randomised controlled trials. A five-node network meta-analysis was conducted based on the frequentist framework. RESULTS:Eight studies were included in this review. From the network meta-analysis, we found that verum acupuncture in the shallow needling controlled trials was more effective than verum acupuncture in the sham device controlled trials (SMD -7.27, 95%?CI-9.11 to -5.43). Significant heterogeneity and inconsistency were not observed among the included studies or the comparisons. CONCLUSIONS:From this preliminary analysis, we found that different types of verum acupuncture may have different effect sizes with respect to the severity of menopausal hot flashes.
Project description:To study the influence of acupuncture at Waiguan (TE5) on the functional connectivity of the central nervous system of patients with ischemic stroke.Twenty-four patients with ischemic stroke in the left basal ganglia were randomized based on gender to receive TE5 acupuncture (n?=?12) or nonacupoint acupuncture (n?=?12). Each group underwent sham acupuncture and then verum acupuncture while being scanned with functional magnetic resonance imaging. Six regions of interest (ROI) were defined, including bilateral motor, somatosensory, and bilateral basal ganglia areas. The functional connectivity between these ROIs and all voxels of the brain was analyzed in Analysis of Functional NeuroImages (AFNI) to explore the differences between verum acupuncture and sham acupuncture at TE5 and between TE5 acupuncture and nonacupoint acupuncture. The participants were blinded to the allocation.The effect of acupuncture on six seed-associated networks was explored. The result demonstrated that acupuncture at Waiguan (TE5) can regulate the sensorimotor network of the ipsilesional hemisphere, stimulate the contralesional sensorimotor network, increase cooperation of bilateral sensorimotor networks, and change the synchronization between the cerebellum and cerebrum. Furthermore, a lot of differences of effect existed between verum acupuncture and sham acupuncture at TE5, but there was little difference between TE5 acupuncture and nonacupoint acupuncture.The modulation of synchronizations between different regions within different brain networks might be the mechanism of acupuncture at Waiguan (TE5). Stimulation of the contralesional sensorimotor network and increase of cooperation of bilateral hemispheres imply a compensatory effect of the intact hemisphere, whereas changes in synchronization might influence the sensorimotor function of the affected side of the body.Chinese Clinical Trial Registry ChiCTR-ONRC-08000255.
Project description:Adverse effects such as fatigue, pain, erythema, nausea and vomiting are commonly known in patients undergoing irradiation (RT) alone or in combination with chemotherapy (RCHT). Patients suffering from these symptoms are limited in their daily life and their quality of life (QOL) is often reduced. As addressed in several trials, acupuncture can cause amelioration of these specific disorders. Especially for pain symptoms, several groups have shown efficacy of acupuncture. To what extent the difference between traditional acupuncture (verum acupuncture) and false acupuncture (sham acupuncture) is in reducing side effects and improvement of QOL is not clear.ROSETTA is a prospective randomized phase II trial (version 1.0) to examine the efficacy of traditional acupuncture in patients with RT-related side effects. In the experimental (verum) arm (n?=?37) an experienced acupuncture-trained person will treat dedicated acupuncture points. In the control (sham) arm (n?=?37) sham acupuncture will be performed to provide a blinded comparison of results.This is the first randomized prospective trial to evaluate the effect of traditional acupuncture on RT-related side effects such as fatigue and QOL.ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT02674646 . Registered on 8 December 2015.
Project description:Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a common disorder with a high prevalence and significant social and economic impacts. Nevertheless, the treatment of MDD is far from satisfactory. Acupuncture treatment has emerged as a promising method for treating MDD. However, the neural mechanism by which acupuncture reduces depressive symptoms is not fully understood. Studies have shown that the corticostriatal reward circuitry is associated with the pathophysiology of MDD; thus, we investigated the corticostriatal resting-state functional connectivity (rsFC) before and after real and sham acupuncture treatments combined with the antidepressant fluoxetine. Forty-six female major depressive patients were assigned to either verum acupuncture plus fluoxetine (n = 22) or sham acupuncture plus fluoxetine (n = 24) treatment for 8 weeks, and resting state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data were collected before the first and after the last treatment sessions. The results showed that compared with sham acupuncture, the verum acupuncture group showed: (1) significantly increased rsFC between inferior ventral striatum and medial prefrontal cortex, ventral rostral putamen and amygdala/parahippocampus, as well as dorsal caudate and middle temporal gyrus; (2) significantly decreased rsFC between right ventral rostral putamen and right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, and right dorsal caudate and bilateral cerebellar tonsil. The increased rsFC between the inferior ventral striatum and medial prefrontal cortex, ventral rostral putamen and amygdala/parahippocampus were significantly positively associated with decreased clinical scores (Montgomery-Åsberg Depression Rating Scale and Self-Rating Depression Scale scores) at the end of the eight-week treatment. Our findings suggest that acupuncture may achieve treatment effects by modulating the corticostriatal reward/motivation circuitry in MDD patients.