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Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2014;2014:465760. doi: 10.1155/2014/465760. Epub 2014 Jun 15.

Differential activation patterns of FMRI in sleep-deprived brain: restoring effects of acupuncture.

Author information

1
Department of Medical Imaging, The First Affiliated Hospital of Xi'an Jiaotong University, 277 West Yanta Road, Xi'an, Shaanxi Province 710061, China.
2
Department of Radiology, The First Affiliated Hospital of Nanchang University, Nanchang, Jiangxi Province 330006, China.
3
The Key Laboratory of Biomedical Information Engineering, Department of Biomedical Engineering, School of Life Science and Technology, Xi'an Jiaotong University, Ministry of Education, China.
4
Acupuncture & Rehabilitation Department, Affiliated Hospital of Jiangxi University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Nanchang, Jiangxi Province 330006, China.

Abstract

Previous studies suggested a remediation role of acupuncture in insomnia, and acupuncture also has been used in insomnia empirically and clinically. In this study, we employed fMRI to test the role of acupuncture in sleep deprivation (SD). Sixteen healthy volunteers (8 males) were recruited and scheduled for three fMRI scanning procedures, one following the individual's normal sleep and received acupuncture SP6 (NOR group) and the other two after 24 h of total SD with acupuncture on SP6 (SD group) or sham (Sham group). The sessions were counterbalanced approximately two weeks apart. Acupuncture stimuli elicited significantly different activation patterns of three groups. In NOR group, the right superior temporal lobe, left inferior parietal lobule, and left postcentral gyrus were activated; in SD group, the anterior cingulate cortex, bilateral insula, left basal ganglia, and thalamus were significantly activated while, in Sham group, the bilateral thalamus and left cerebellum were activated. Different activation patterns suggest a unique role of acupuncture on SP6 in remediation of SD. SP6 elicits greater and anatomically different activations than those of sham stimuli; that is, the salience network, a unique interoceptive autonomic circuit, may indicate the mechanism underlying acupuncture in restoring sleep deprivation.

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