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Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2013;2013:197238. doi: 10.1155/2013/197238. Epub 2013 Jun 2.

Acupuncture de qi in stable somatosensory stroke patients: relations with effective brain network for motor recovery.

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The Key Laboratory of Biomedical Information Engineering, Ministry of Education, Department of Biomedical Engineering, School of Life Science and Technology, Xi'an Jiaotong University, Xi'an 710049, China.


Acupuncture has been widely used for treating stroke and De Qi may play an important role. In spite of its acceptance, the neural mechanism underlying acupuncture for motor recovery is still elusive. Particularly, by what extent De Qi sensations can reliably predict the therapeutical acupuncture effect on the mediating recovery from stroke is urgent to investigate. Nine stroke patients were assessed by De Qi, neurological examination, and scanned with acupuncture stimuli across two time points at an interval of two weeks. And we adopted multivariate Granger causality analysis to explore the interregional influences within motor executive brain network during post-acupuncture resting state. Our findings indicated that acupuncture at GB34 can enhance the recovery of stroke mainly by strengthening causal influences between the ipsilesional and contralesional motor cortex. Moreover, centrality of some motor-related regions correlated with clinical variables and thus served as a predictor of stroke recovery. Along the same line, the centrality of these motor-related regions has also high relations with the De Qi sensation. Our findings suggest that De Qi having relatively stable reliability may be essential and used as a predictor to the therapeutic effectiveness of acupuncture for stroke recovery.

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