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3T functional magnetic resonance in healthy subjects: effects evaluation of MS6 scalp acupuncture

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3T functional magnetic resonance in healthy subjects: effects evaluation of MS6 scalp acupuncture
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Authors: R. Zanardi, M. Maieron, C. M. Giovanardi, B. Tomasino; Udine/IT, San Lazzaro di Savena/IT, San Vito al Tagliamento/IT

Section: Purpose

Acupuncture is a therapy of inserting and manipulating fine filiform needles into specific body locations (acupuncture points) to treat diseases. Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese treatment that has been systematically used for over 2000 years (1). Currently, acupuncture is used widely all over the world, but its brain functional mechanism is not well understood.Scalp acupuncture (SA) has developed from traditional acupuncture since the Fifties. SA has combined the concept of cerebral cortex organization and its function with the principles of acupuncture, allowing treatment of diseases through needling of points on the scalp (2). Generally in SA the stimulation area corresponds with the functions represented in a section of the cerebral cortex. Scalp acupuncture is usually used to treat cerebrovascular diseases (stroke rehabilitation) and other central nervous system illnesses. SA indications are: paresis, asthenia, contralateral limb pain, contralateral central facial paralysis, disartria, afasia and face soreness. There is a SA standard system of 14 MS lines. (Micro-System Scalp-Point).The MS6 line, the anterior oblique parietal-temporal line, corresponds to the primary motor area, and goes from qianshenchong to GB6 (xuanli).

The MS6 line is divided into three segments:

  • the superior 1/5 which corresponds to the motor segment of the inferior limb and the trunk;
  • the middle 2/5 which correspond to the motor segment of the superior limb;
  • the inferior 2/5 which correspond to the motor segment of the face and language.

Whilst scientists have tried to clarify the underlying mechanisms of acupuncture since the 1950s, research involving the human central nervous system has been limited by the lack of non-invasive measurement methods. With the invention of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in the early 1990s, a new tool became available that allowed non-invasive measurement of human brain activity with a temporal resolution of approximately 3s, and a spatial resolution of approximately 3mm. In the previous decade, an increasing number of studies applied fMRI to investigate acupuncture stimulation (3). The purpose of this study is to evaluate cortical activation after stimulation of the middle 2/5 of the MS6 scalp acupuncture line on the left side using fMRI.

 



 
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