Acupuncture Today
February, 2011, Vol. 12, Issue 02
 
Share |

Study: Acupuncture Key in Pain Processing

By Editorial Staff

Activation of brain areas involved in pain perception are significantly reduced under acupuncture, a study recently found.

The Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) presented the results of a pain processing study at an annual meeting held Nov. 30 for radiologists, radiation oncologists, medical physicists and related scientists.

The study was led by researcher Nina Theysohn, M.D., from the Department of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology and Neuroradiology at the University Hospital in Essen, Germany. In a written statement, Theyson said that until now the role of acupuncture in the perception and processing of pain has been controversial but this study was able to bring forth a lot of answers with the help of functional magnetic resonance MRI (fMRI).

"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," Theyson said.

The effectiveness of acupuncture was tested using fMRI by capturing pictures of the brain while patients experienced a pain stimulus with and without acupuncture, according to researchers. fMRI is known to measure 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.

The RSNA noted the study was conducted in close collaboration with the Department of Complementary and Integrative Medicine at the University of Duisburg-Essen. A total of 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. According to researchers, activation of brain areas involved in pain perception was significantly reduced under acupuncture and also affected brain activation in areas governing the patients' expectations of pain, similar to a placebo analgesic response.

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

For more information on the study, visit www.RSNA.org.

 

Join the conversation
Comments are encouraged, but you must follow our User Agreement
Keep it civil and stay on topic. No profanity, vulgar, racist or hateful comments or personal attacks. Anyone who chooses to exercise poor judgement will be blocked. By posting your comment, you agree to allow MPA Media the right to republish your name and comment in additional MPA Media publications without any notification or payment.
comments powered by Disqus

AT News Update
e-mail newsletter Subscribe Today

AT Deals & Events
e-mail newsletter Subscribe Today

 

Generic Cialis Pills Mexico Drug Cialis Tadalafil Levitra Slovenia By Money Order Viagra Cialis Generic Pills For Sale Cialis Dosage Splitting Pills Viagra Chicago Cialis With Next Day Delivery Cialis No Online Pharmacy Prescription Flagyl Suppository For Sale No Prescription Cialis Free Consultation Levitra Order Cheap Free Viagra Get Viagra Without Prescription Viagra Gel Sachets In Australia Cialis 20mg Shopping Find Viagra Free Edinburgh Search Sildenafil Health Canada Levitra Round Brown Pill Viagra Order Online Viagra 100mg Information Viagra Cheap Generic Pharmacy Search Cialis Plizer 100mg Viagra Viagra Find Sites Free Cialis Online Safety London Viagra Without Prescription Cialis Cheap Online Non Prescription Cialis Cialis Online Purchase Rx Levitra