Liang, FR (reprint author), Chengdu Univ Tradit Chinese Med, Acupuncture & Tuina Sch, Chengdu 610075, Peoples R China.
Neuroimaging studies on brain responses to acupuncture stimulations have received considerable attention recently. The majority of these studies are centered on healthy controls (HC) and neuropathy, while little work has addressed other disorders. This study aimed to investigate the influence of acupuncture stimulations on brain activities in functional dyspepsia (FD) patients. Eight FD patients and eight healthy controls (HC) were involved in this study. Each HC received an 18F-FDG PET-CT scan at baseline, while each patient received scans at baseline and after acupuncture stimulations. Manual acupuncture stimulations were performed at ST34 (Liangqiu), ST36 (Zusanli), ST40 (Fenglong) and ST42 (Chongyang) in FD patients. The images were analyzed with the Statistical Parametric Mapping software 2.0. Compared to HC, the FD patients showed a lower glycometabolism in the right orbital gyrus, the left caudate tail and the cingulate gyrus, and a higher glycometabolism in the left inferior temporal gyrus (p < 0.005). After acupuncture stimulations, the FD patients showed a glycometabolism decrease in the postcentral gyrus and the cerebella, and an increase in the visual-related cortices(p < 0.005). The results suggest that the anterior cingulate cortex, the prefrontal cortices and the caudate tail involve in processing gastric perceptions in FD patients and that the deactivation of the primary somatosensory area and the cerebella is contributable to acupuncture stimulation, while activation of the visual-related cortex is a response to pain or acupoint actions. (C) 2009 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.