Navigation Links
Acupuncture changes brain's perception and processing of pain
Date:11/30/2010

CHICAGO Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), researchers have captured pictures of the brain while patients experienced a pain stimulus with and without acupuncture to determine acupuncture's effect on how the brain processes pain. Results of the study, which the researchers say suggest the effectiveness of acupuncture, were presented today at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA).

"Until now, the role of acupuncture in the perception and processing of pain has been controversial," said lead researcher Nina Theysohn, M.D., from the Department of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology and Neuroradiology at University Hospital in Essen, Germany. "Functional MRI gives us the opportunity to directly observe areas of the brain that are activated during pain perception and see the variances that occur with acupuncture."

fMRI measures the tiny metabolic changes that take place in an active part of the brain, while a patient performs a task or is exposed to a specific external stimulus.

In the study, conducted in close collaboration with the Department of Complementary and Integrative Medicine at University of Duisburg-Essen, 18 healthy volunteers underwent fMRI while an electrical pain stimulus was attached to the left ankle. Acupuncture needles were then placed at three places on the right side, including between the toes, below the knee, and near the thumb. With the needles in place, fMRI was repeated while electrical currents were again directed at the left ankle. The researchers then compared the images and data obtained from the fMRI sessions with no acupuncture to those of the fMRI sessions with acupuncture.

"Activation of brain areas involved in pain perception was significantly reduced or modulated under acupuncture," Dr. Theysohn said.

Specifically, fMRI revealed significant activation in the contralateral supplementary motor area, somatosensory cortex, precuneus bilateral insula and ipsilateral somatomotor cortex during electrical pain stimulation without acupuncture. During acupuncture, activation in most of these pain-processing areas of the brain was significantly reduced.

According to Dr. Theysohn, in addition to the assumed specific effects on the pain signal, acupuncture also affected brain activation in areas governing the patients' expectations of pain, similar to a placebo analgesic response.

The anterior insula, for example, plays a role in transforming pain sensation to cognition and represents a subjective component of pain sensation. The reduction in activation of the primary somatosensory cortex and the insula during acupuncture indicates an acupuncture-induced modulation of the sensory encoding of the painful stimulus.

"Acupuncture is supposed to act through at least two mechanismsnonspecific expectancy-based effects and specific modulation of the incoming pain signal," Dr. Theysohn said. "Our findings support that both these nonspecific and specific mechanisms exist, suggesting that acupuncture can help relieve pain."


'/>"/>

Contact: Linda Brooks
lbrooks@rsna.org
630-590-7762
Radiological Society of North America
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Young patients with chronic illnesses find relief in acupuncture
2. Acupuncture May Ease Depression During Pregnancy
3. Acupuncture may relieve joint pain caused by some breast cancer treatments
4. AcuAids Announces Acupuncture at Home to Stop Smoking, Lose Weight and More
5. Acupuncture May Ease Anxiety Over Dental Work
6. Acupuncture may be an effective treatment for post-viral infection loss of smell
7. Acupuncture May Help Restore Lost Sense of Smell
8. Quit Smoking with Acupuncture and Hypnosis and it is Free
9. Acupuncture Delivers Some Pain Relief
10. Acupunctures molecular effects pinned down
11. Acupuncture May Trigger Natural Painkiller
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/29/2016)... ... April 29, 2016 , ... ... infants born with severe congenital diaphragmatic hernia have better survival rates if surgery ... diaphragmatic hernia (CDH)—a condition where the diaphragm fails to form completely, letting abdominal ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... , ... April 29, 2016 , ... Mobility Designed ... put pressure on the armpits, the M+D Crutch evenly distributes body weight from the ... wrists and hands when using the crutches than with other crutches. , Co-founders Max ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... April 29, 2016 , ... Melanoma is the deadliest type of skin ... blame for the majority of skin cancer deaths. More than 10,000 people are expected to ... at diagnosis is 62, it is the one of the most commonly diagnosed cancers in ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... ... April 29, 2016 , ... Reltok Nasal Products proudly announces that Boston ... and neck/ear, nose and throat specialty, has added the KOTLER NASAL AIRWAY™ to its ... is a newly patented safety device secured by nasal surgeons onto the floor ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... April 29, 2016 , ... ... feature Grassland Dairy Products, Inc. in an upcoming episode, airing third quarter 2016 ... century of churning cream into butter, Grassland Dairy Products, located in Greenwood, Wisconsin ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:4/29/2016)... ISELIN, New Jersey , April 29, 2016 ... Omnichannel Software Suite for Life Sciences, Product Development ... and Global Life Science Customer Base . ... healthcare solutions provider, today announced the acquisition of ... is a global leader in adaptive sales enablement ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... Automation is one of the ... the growing demands for productivity in speed, accuracy, throughput ... are already adept of a wide range of functions ... labor. Instrumentation continues to evolve, and is poised to ... few years ago. Originally used mostly by the big ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... -- Research and Markets has announced the ... 2016-2020" report to their offering.      ... global plastic surgery products market is expected to grow ... , ,The growing adoption of laser in aesthetics is ... market. Lasers are used to treat a broad range ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: