Investigating acupuncture using brain imaging techniques: the current state of play

Lewith, George T., White, Peter J. and Pariente, Jeremie (2005) Investigating acupuncture using brain imaging techniques: the current state of play. Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2, (3), 315 - 319. (doi:10.1093/ecam/neh110).


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We have systematically researched and reviewed the literature looking at the effect of acupuncture on brain activation as measured by functional magnetic resonance imaging and positron emission tomography. These studies show that specific and largely predictable areas of brain activation and deactivation occur when considering the traditional Chinese functions attributable to certain specific acupuncture points. For example, points associated with hearing and vision stimulates the visual and auditory cerebral areas respectively. Pain, however, is a complex matrix that is intimately intertwined with expectation. Acupuncture clearly affects this matrix in both specific and non-specific manner that is consistent with its specific clinical effects, as well as the effects of expectation on pain relief. This article summarizes the current imaging literature.

Item Type: Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi:10.1093/ecam/neh110
ISSNs: 1741-427X (print)
Related URLs:
Keywords: article, brain, pain
Subjects: T Technology > T Technology (General)
R Medicine > RZ Other systems of medicine
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
Divisions : University Structure - Pre August 2011 > Superseded (SOHPRS)
ePrint ID: 17953
Accepted Date and Publication Date:
Date Deposited: 18 Nov 2005
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2016 11:33

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