Somatosensory Stimulation With XNKQ Acupuncture Modulates Functional Connectivity of Motor Areas.
ABSTRACT: Xingnao Kaiqiao (XNKQ) acupuncture is an acupuncture technique used for stroke patients. In 24 healthy volunteers, we applied this complex acupuncture intervention, which consists of a manual needle-stimulation on five acupuncture points (DU26 unilaterally, PC6, and SP6 bilaterally). XNKQ was compared to three control conditions: (1) insertion of needles on the XNKQ acupuncture points without stimulation, (2) manual needle-stimulation on five nearby non-acupuncture points, and (3) insertion of needles on the non-acupuncture points without stimulation. In a within-subject design, we investigated functional connectivity changes in resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) by means of the data-driven eigenvector centrality (EC) approach. With a 2 × 2 factorial within-subjects design with two-factor stimulation (stimulation vs. non-stimulation) and location (acupuncture points vs. non-acupuncture points), we found decreased EC in the precuneus after needle-stimulation (stimulation
Project description:Acupuncture can be regarded as a complex somatosensory stimulation. Here, we evaluate whether the point locations chosen for a somatosensory stimulation with acupuncture needles differently change the brain activity in healthy volunteers. We used EEG, event-related fMRI, and resting-state functional connectivity fMRI to assess neural responses to standardized needle stimulation of the acupuncture point ST36 (lower leg) and two control point locations (CP1 same dermatome, CP2 different dermatome). Cerebral responses were expected to differ for stimulation in two different dermatomes (CP2 different from ST36 and CP1), or stimulation at the acupuncture point vs. the control points. For EEG, mu rhythm power increased for ST36 compared to CP1 or CP2, but not when comparing the two control points. The fMRI analysis found more pronounced insula and S2 (secondary somatosensory cortex) activation, as well as precuneus deactivation during ST36 stimulation. The S2 seed-based functional connectivity analysis revealed increased connectivity to right precuneus for both comparisons, ST36 vs. CP1 and ST36 vs. CP2, however in different regions. Our results suggest that stimulation at acupuncture points may modulate somatosensory and saliency processing regions more readily than stimulation at non-acupuncture point locations. Also, our findings suggest potential modulation of pain perception due to acupuncture stimulation.
Project description:In rats with dihydrotestosterone (DHT)-induced polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), repeated low-frequency electrical stimulation of acupuncture needles restores whole-body insulin sensitivity measured by euglycemic hyperinsulinemic clamp. We hypothesized that electrical stimulation causing muscle contractions and manual stimulation causing needle sensation have different effects on insulin sensitivity and related signaling pathways in skeletal muscle and adipose tissue, with electrical stimulation being more effective in DHT-induced PCOS rats. From age 70 days, rats received manual or low-frequency electrical stimulation of needles in abdominal and hind limb muscle five times/wk for 4-5 wks; controls were handled but untreated rats. Low-frequency electrical stimulation modified gene expression (decreased Tbc1d1 in soleus, increased Nr4a3 in mesenteric fat) and protein expression (increased pAS160/AS160, Nr4a3 and decreased GLUT4) by western blot and increased GLUT4 expression by immunohistochemistry in soleus muscle; glucose clearance during oral glucose tolerance tests was unaffected. Manual stimulation led to faster glucose clearance and modified mainly gene expression in mesenteric adipose tissue (increased Nr4a3, Mapk3/Erk, Adcy3, Gsk3b), but not protein expression to the same extent; however, Nr4a3 was reduced in soleus muscle. The novel finding is that electrical and manual muscle stimulation affect glucose homeostasis in DHT-induced PCOS rats through different mechanisms. Repeated electrical stimulation regulated key functional molecular pathways important for insulin sensitivity in soleus muscle and mesenteric adipose tissue to a larger extent than manual stimulation. Manual stimulation improved whole-body glucose tolerance, an effect not observed after electrical stimulation, but did not affect molecular signaling pathways to the same extent as electrical stimulation. Although more functional signaling pathways related to insulin sensitivity were affected by electrical stimulation, our findings suggest that manual stimulation of acupuncture needles has a greater effect on glucose tolerance. The underlying mechanism of the differential effects of the intermittent manual and the continuous electrical stimulation remains to be elucidated.
Project description:Acupuncture as a therapeutic intervention has been widely used for treatment of many pathophysiological disorders. For achieving improved therapeutic effects, relatively thick acupuncture needles have been frequently used in clinical practice with, in turn, enhanced stimulation intensity. However due to the discomforting nature of the larger-diameter acupuncture needles there is considerable interest in developing advanced acupuncture therapeutical techniques that provide more comfort with improved efficacy. So motivated, we have developed a new class of acupuncture needles, porous acupuncture needles (PANs) with hierarchical micro/nano-scale conical pores upon the surface, fabricated via a simple and well known electrochemical process, with surface area approximately 20 times greater than conventional acupuncture needles. The performance of these high-surface-area PANs is evaluated by monitoring the electrophysiological and behavioral responses from the in vivo stimulation of Shenmen (HT7) points in Wistar rats, showing PANs to be more effective in controlling electrophysiological and behavioral responses than conventional acupuncture needles. Comparative analysis of cocaine induced locomotor activity using PANs and thick acupuncture needles shows enhanced performance of PANs with significantly less pain sensation. Our work offers a unique pathway for achieving a comfortable and improved acupuncture therapeutic effect.
Project description:Background:Efficacy of acupuncture is difficult to demonstrate without a feasible double-blind milieu. Double-blind acupuncture needles have been validated in single session protocols with one or two needles but not been tested in a protocol requiring many needles and repeated sessions. Methods:We determined the feasibility of a 13-needle, 10-session study protocol. Feasibility focused on (1) enrolling and retaining participants; (2) two acupuncturists accurately implementing a double-blind, multi-needle, multi-session protocol; (3) participants completing measures; and (4) protocol acceptability to participants. In this double-blind randomized controlled pilot study, participants were randomized 1:1 to a penetrating needle group or a skin-touch placebo control group. Results:Six women with vulvodynia (mean age 31.5 ± 8 years; five white, non-Latina, one black/African American) met the eligibility requirements, consented to participation, and were enrolled. All six participants (100%) completed the 10-session study protocol in 5 weeks without missing any treatment sessions. Per observed checklist documented technique, two acupuncturists flawlessly administered the 13-needle, 10-session acupuncture protocol; no needles malfunctioned. Six participants attended all sessions and completed 99% of measurement items. One participant did not like acupuncture (60% acceptability score) and five liked acupuncture (100% acceptability scores); the mean acceptability score was 93.3%. Conclusion:Study feasibility was supported. This protocol can be used in a double-blind efficacy trial of acupuncture for vulvodynia. Trial registration:ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT02704234. Registered 30 November 2015.
Project description:We investigated commonalities and differences in brain responses to enhanced bodily attention around acupuncture points with and without stimulation. Fourteen participants received acupuncture needles at both PC6 and HT7 acupoints in the left hand. To enhance bodily attention to acupoints, participants responded to the locations of stimulations in a two-alternative forced choice task. Two fMRI scans were taken in a block design: session 1 labeled with manual stimulation (genuine stimulation) and session 2 labeled with electro-acupuncture (pseudo-stimulation). To compare cortical activation patterns, data were analyzed using the Freesurfer software package. Both genuine-and pseudo-stimulation resulted in brain activations in the insula, anterior cingulate cortex, secondary somatosensory cortex, superior parietal cortex, and brain deactivation in the medial prefrontal cortex, posterior cingulate cortex, inferior parietal cortex, and the parahippocampus. Genuine acupuncture stimulation exhibited greater brain activation in the posterior insula, posterior operculum and the caudal part of the anterior cingulate cortex, compared with pseudo-stimulation. We demonstrated that enhanced bodily attention triggered by genuine acupuncture stimulation can activate the salience network and deactivate the default mode network regardless of the type of stimulation. The component of enhanced attention to a certain part of the body is significant in the brain response to acupuncture stimulation.
Project description:<h4>Objectives</h4>The present work examined the surface conditions and various other physical properties of sterilised single-use stainless steel acupuncture needles from two of the most popular brands widely used in many countries.<h4>Methods</h4>Scanning electron microscope (SEM) images were taken for 10 randomly chosen needles from each brand. Further SEM images were taken after each of these needles underwent a standard manipulation with an acupuncture needling practice gel. A comparison of forces and torques during the needling process was also carried out.<h4>Results</h4>The SEM images revealed significant surface irregularities and inconsistencies at the needle tips, especially for needles from one of the two brands. Metallic lumps and small, loosely attached pieces of material were observed on the surfaces of some needles. Some of the lumps and pieces of material seen on the needle surfaces disappeared after the acupuncture manipulation. If these needles had been used on patients, the metallic lumps and small pieces of material could have been deposited in human tissues, which could have caused adverse events such as dermatitis. Malformed needle tips might also cause other adverse effects including bleeding, haematoma/bruising, or strong pain during needling. An off-centre needle tip could result in the needle altering its direction during insertion and consequently failing to reach the intended acupuncture point or damaging adjacent tissues.<h4>Conclusions</h4>These findings highlight the need for improved quality control of acupuncture needles, with a view to further enhancing the safety and comfort of acupuncture users.
Project description:Acupuncture originated within the auspices of Oriental medicine, and today is used as an alternative method for treating various diseases and symptoms. The physiological mechanisms of acupuncture appear to involve the release of endogenous opiates and neurotransmitters, with the signals mediating through electrical stimulation of the central nervous system (CNS). Earlier we reported a nanoporous stainless steel acupuncture needle with enhanced therapeutic properties, evaluated by electrophysiological and behavioral responses in Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats. Herein, we investigate molecular changes in colorectal cancer (CRC) rats by acupuncture treatment using the nanoporous needles. Treatment at acupoint HT7 is found most effective at reducing average tumor size, ?-catenin expression levels, and the number of aberrant crypt foci in the colon endothelium. Surface modification of acupuncture needles further enhances the therapeutic effects of acupuncture treatment in CRC rats.
Project description:Acupuncture has been used to treat a variety of diseases and symptoms for more than 2,500 years. While a number of studies have shown that nerves are responsible for initiating the effects of acupuncture, several lines of study have emphasized the role of connective tissue in the initiation of acupuncture signals. To determine whether nerves or connective tissue mediate the action of acupuncture, we constructed a robotic acupuncture needle twister that mimicked the twisting of the needle by an acupuncturist, and we examined the role of nerves and connective tissues in the generation of acupuncture effects in rat cocaine-induced locomotion, stress-induced hypertension, and mustard oil-induced visceral pain models. Robotic or manual twisting of acupuncture needles effectively suppressed cocaine-induced hyperactivity, elevated systemic blood pressure or mustard oil-induced visceral pain in rats. These acupuncture effects were completely abolished by injecting bupivacaine, a local anesthetic, into acupoints. However, disruption of connective tissue by injecting type I collagenase into acupoints did not affect these acupuncture effects. Our findings suggest that nerve tissue, but not connective tissue, is responsible for generating the effects of acupuncture.
Project description:Obesity is an increasingly prevalent chronic condition that is associated with serious morbidity and mortality. Excess body weight is a risk factor contributing to diseases such as hypertension, heart disease, hypercholesterolaemia, diabetes mellitus, cerebrovascular disease, gall bladder disease, and some types of cancer. Almost all the Western anti-obesity drugs have adverse effects or body weight is regained upon cessation of therapy. Recent studies have found that acupuncture had a similar efficacy as the Western anti-obesity drugs with fewer reported adverse effects. However, these conclusions were limited due to the small sample size and low quality of methodologies of these studies. Therefore, we design this study to explore the effectiveness and safety of acupuncture on weight control.This is a pilot single-blinded, randomized, sham-controlled trial on acupuncture for body weight control. Seventy-two participants are randomly assigned to the acupuncture group or the control group. Tianshu (ST-25), Daheng (SP-15), Daimai (GB-26), Qihai (CV-6), Zhongwan (CV-12), Zusanli (ST-36), Fenglong (ST-40), and Sanyinjiao (SP-6) are selected as acupuncture points. For the acupuncture group, disposable acupuncture needles will be inserted at a depth of 10-25 mm into the points and electrical stimulation with dense-disperse waves at 50 Hz and 10 V will be applied on the abdominal points. The bodily needles will be retained for 30 minutes. For subjects assigned to the control group, Streitberger's non-invasive acupuncture needles will be applied to serve as the sham control at the same acupoints with the same stimulation modality, except that the needles are only adhered to the skin instead of inserted. The duration of the treatment is 8 weeks with two sessions per week, and the follow-up period is 8 weeks. The primary outcome is the change in body weight before and after treatment. The secondary outcomes include changes in body mass index, waist circumference, hip circumference, and body fat percentage during the treatment and follow-up period.The study will compare the efficacy and safety of acupuncture with sham acupuncture on weight control, in the hope of obtaining evidence for utilizing acupuncture for body weight control.NCT02516878 . Registered on 30 July 2015.
Project description:Placebo control is a useful method for determining the efficacy of a therapy. In acupuncture researches, the preferred method for placebo control is acupuncture using a placebo needle that has a blunt tip and achieves no skin penetration. We performed a crossover study to validate the blinding effect of a new type of placebo needle. Sixty volunteers were randomized to receive acupuncture using 2 types of needles with different sequences: sequence AB, involving first the pragmatic placebo needle and then the real needle, and sequence BA, in a reverse order. Placebo acupuncture was performed by administering the placebo needle through an adhesive pad without skin penetration on the acupoints LI4, RN12, BL25, and BL36. Real acupuncture was performed by needling through the pad and penetrating the skin to 15 mm using a real needle on the same acupoints. The acupuncture was administered every other day with 3 sessions for 1 type of needle. The primary outcome was the perception of needle penetration. Besides degree of acupuncture pain, type, and degree of needle sensation, needle acceptability and factors influencing the subject blinding effect were assessed. Needle penetration was felt by 100%, 90% (54/60), 88.3% (53/60), and 95% (57/60) of volunteers receiving placebo acupuncture and 98.3% (59/60), 96.7% (58/60), 95% (57/60), and 95% (57/60) of volunteers receiving real acupuncture on LI4, RN12, BL25, and BL36, respectively. Differences of the volunteers' perception of needle penetration between the placebo needle and real needle were not significant for the 4 acupoints (all P > 0.05). Volunteers experienced fewer distension sensations (P = 0.01), a lower degree of needle sensation (P = 0.007), and less pain (P = 0.006) during placebo acupuncture than during real acupuncture. The placebo needle was more easily accepted than the real needle (OR = 1.63, 95% CI, 1.01-2.64). The influences of age, sex, educational level, acupuncture experience, needle sensation, acupuncture pain, and needle acceptability on volunteers' perception of needle penetration were not significant. The pragmatic placebo needle is a valid control for acupuncture research. It produces a good subject blinding effect with a similar appearance to conventional acupuncture needles and no skin penetration when applied.