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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2012, Article ID 902413, 9 pages
Research Article

Effects of Electroacupuncture at Head Points on the Function of Cerebral Motor Areas in Stroke Patients: A PET Study

1TCM and Acupuncture & Moxibustion Department of Nanlou, Chinese PLA General Hospital, Beijing 100853, China
2Department of Nosocomial Infection and Disease Control, Chinese PLA General Hospital, Beijing 100853, China
3Chinamed USA, Charlottesville, VA 22901, USA
4Department of Nucleus Medicine, Chinese PLA General Hospital, Beijing 100853, China

Received 26 April 2012; Accepted 18 June 2012

Academic Editor: Paul Siu-Po Ip

Copyright © 2012 Zuo Fang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Positron emission tomography (PET) is used to observe the cerebral function widely and is a good method to explore the mechanism of acupuncture treatment on the central nervous system. By using this method, we observed the cerebral function of 6 patients suffering from ischemic stroke after receiving EA treatment at Baihui(GV20) and right Qubin(GB7). The results were: (1) the glucose metabolism changed significantly on primary motor area (M1), premotor cortex (PMC), and superior parietal louble (LPs) bilaterally, as well as the Supplementary Motor Area (SMA) on the unaffected hemisphere right after the first EA treatment. (2) The glucose metabolism on bilateral M1 and LPs changed significantly after three weeks of daily EA treatments. (3) The glucose metabolism on other areas such as insula, putamen, and cerebellum changed significantly. It demonstrated that EA at Qubin and Baihui couldactivate the cerebral structures related to motor function on the bilateral hemispheres.We concluded that EA was very helpful for the cerebral motor plasticity after the ischemic stroke. Also based on this study we assumed that the brain plasticity should be a network and that acupuncture participated in some sections of this course.