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Acupuncture of Specific Points Influences Cortical Auditory Evoked Potentials – A Volunteer Crossover Study

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Specificity of acupoints remains a crucial question in acupuncture research. The aim was to investigate whether acupuncture of specific points influences the Cortical Auditory Evoked Potentials (CAEP). Ten healthy volunteers were enrolled in this study according to inclusion criteria. One of 4 acupoints: TH3, GB43 (both claimed as specific for auditory system by Traditional Chinese Medicine) and non-specific points H7 and ST44, was stimulated during one session. Each volunteer received 4 sessions of acupuncture with an interval of I week between the sessions. The latencies and amplitudes of CAEP were registered before and after the acupuncture during each session. The mean peak latencies of P2 component decreased after stimulation of TH3 by 11 ms and GB43 by 14 ms whereas the peak latencies of N2 component increased after stimulation of TH3 by 9 ms and GB43 by 4 ms compared to baseline values (p<0.05). The stimulation of H7 and ST44 did not produce any changes. These findings confirm the specificity of acupuncture points TH3 and GB43 in relation to auditory system.
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Keywords: Acupuncture; Acupuncture Specificity; Cortical Response; Electrophysiology; Evoked Potentials; Randomized Crossover Trial

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Dept. of Surgery, Military Hospital of Berlin, Germany 2: Dept. of Ear Nose Throat Diseases, University of Greifswald, Germany 3: Dept. of Anesthesiology, University of Greifswald, Germany 4: Dept. of Anesthesia, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Canada

Publication date: January 1, 2008

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