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Alzheimer's

Acupuncture Activates Brain Regions Associated with Alzheimer's Disease

Topic: Acupuncture Activates Brain Regions Associated with Alzheimer's Disease

Keywords: ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE, DEMENTIA, COGNITIVE DECLINE - Acupuncture, Chinese Medicine

Reference: "Effect of acupuncture given at the HT 7, ST 36, ST 40 and KI 3 acupoints on various parts of the brains of Alzheimer' s disease patients," Zhou Y, Jin J, et al, Acupunct Electrother Res, 2008; 33(1-2): 9-17. (Address: Department of Neurology, Xuan Wu Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing, China).

Summary: In a study involving 26 patients with clinically-diagnosed Alzheimer's Disease (AD), acupuncture treatment was found to stimulate areas of the brain associated with cognitive function which are known to be impaired in patients with AD. Subjects received acupuncture treatment at four acupuncture points: HT-7 (Shen Men), ST-36 (Zu San Li), ST-40 (Feng Long), and KI-3 (Tai Xi). During treatment, patients underwent functional magnetic resonance imagine (fMRI). Results of fMRI showed right main hemisphere activations at the temporal lobe, including hippocampal gyrus, insula, and some areas of the parietal lobe, and left hemisphere activations at the temporal lobe, parietal lobule, and some regions of the cerebellus. Several of the areas activated are areas associated with cognitive function such as memory, language, and reasoning. These results suggest that acupuncture treatment in patients with AD may stimulate various affected regions of the brain. Additional research is needed to assess the clinical effects of acupuncture in patients with AD.

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