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Neural Regen Res. 2012 Oct 25;7(30):2362-9. doi: 10.3969/j.issn.1673-5374.2012.30.006.

Activated and deactivated functional brain areas in the Deqi state: A functional MRI study.

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Traditional Chinese Medicine School, Southern Medical University, Guangzhou 510515, Guangdong Province, China.
Rehabilitation Department, First People's Hospital, Shunde District, Foshan 528300, Guangdong Province, China.
Academic Affairs Department, Xinxing Chinese Medicine School, Xinxing 527400, Guangdong Province, China.
Traditional Chinese Medicine Department, Huarui Hospital, Southern Medical University, Guangzhou 510360, Guangdong Province, China.
Medicophysics Department, Guangzhou Medical University, Guangzhou 510182, Guangdong Province, China.
Acupuncture and Massage College, Guangzhou Traditional Chinese Medicine University, Guangzhou 510405, Guangdong Province, China.
Traditional Chinese Medicine Department, Guangdong Medical College, Dongguan 523808, Guangdong Province, China.
First School of Clinical Medicine, Southern Medical University, Guangzhou 510515, Guangdong Province, China.


We compared the activities of functional regions of the brain in the Deqi versus non-Deqi state, as reported by physicians and subjects during acupuncture. Twelve healthy volunteers received sham and true needling at the Waiguan (TE5) acupoint. Real-time cerebral functional MRI showed that compared with non-sensation after sham needling, true needling activated Brodmann areas 3, 6, 8, 9, 10, 11, 13, 20, 21, 37, 39, 40, 43, and 47, the head of the caudate nucleus, the parahippocampal gyrus, thalamus and red nucleus. True needling also deactivated Brodmann areas 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 18, 24, 31, 40 and 46.


Deqi; Waiguan (TE5); brain region activation; deactivation; functional MRI; needling; neural regeneration; sham needling; sham point

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