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Effect of Acupuncture Given at the HT 7, ST 36, ST 40 and KI3 Acupoints on Various Parts of the Brains of Alzheimer's Disease Patients

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In this study, we explore various regions of the brains of Alzheimer's Disease (AD) patients before and after acupuncture treatment of acupoints in the brain in order to determine the effect, if any, of acupuncture on AD. Twenty-six patients with clinically-diagnosed AD underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) while undergoing acupuncture at the four acupoints of Shenmen (HT 7), Zusanli (ST 36), Fenglong (ST 40) and Taixi (KI 3). fMRI Block design paradigm was chosen by electroacupumcture interval stimulation, and the data of fMRI were analyzed by Statistical Parametric Mapping (SPM 99). The result demonstrated that there were right main hemisphere activations (temporal lobe, such as hippocampal gyrus, insula, and some area of parietal lobe) and left activated regions (temporal lobe, parietal lobule, some regions of cerebellum). The activated regions induced by these acupoints were consistent with impaired areas in brain for AD patients, which were closely correlated with the cognitive function (memory, reason, language, executive, etc.). The present study provided the strong evidence that acupuncture had a potential effect on AD, and in partial revealed the mechanism.
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Keywords: Acupuncture; Alzheimer's Disease; Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging; Mechanism

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Associate Professor of the Department of Neurology, Xuan Wu Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing, China. 2: Director and Professor of the Department of Neurology, Xuan Wu Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing, China.

Publication date: 01 January 2008

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