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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2013, Article ID 149612, 10 pages
Research Article

Electroacupuncture-Induced Attenuation of Experimental Epilepsy: A Comparative Evaluation of Acupoints and Stimulation Parameters

1Shanghai Research Center for Acupuncture and Meridians, Shanghai 201203, China
2Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai 201203, China
3The University of Texas Medical School at Houston, Houston, TX 77030, USA
4Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06510, USA

Received 12 August 2012; Revised 10 November 2012; Accepted 15 December 2012

Academic Editor: Guang-Hong Ding

Copyright © 2013 Xuezhi Kang 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.


The efficacy of electroacupuncture (EA) on epilepsy remains to be verified because of previous controversies that might be due to the complexity of the effects induced by different acupoints and stimulation approaches adopted. Therefore, we investigated the effects of EA on epilepsy to determine the specific acupoints and optimal stimulation parameters in this work. Experimental epilepsy was induced by injecting kainic acid to the lateral cerebral ventricle of adult male SD rats. EA with a low-frequency (10 Hz/1 mA) or high-frequency (100 Hz/1 mA) current was applied to the epileptic model for 30 minutes starting at 0.5 hour after the injection. Four pairs of acupoints were tested, that is, Shuigou (DU26) + Dazhui (DU14), Jinsuo (DU8) + Yaoqi (EXB9), Neiguan (PC6) + Quchi (LI11), and Fenglong (ST40) + Yongquan (KI1). We found that (1) low- or high-frequency EA at different acupoints reduced epileptic seizures ( versus the control) with an exception of low-frequency EA at Neiguan (PC6) and Quchi (LI11); (2) low-frequency EA induced a better effect at Fenglong (ST40) plus Yongquan (KI1) than that of the other acupoints ( ); (3) there is no significant difference in the effects of high-frequency EA at these acupoints; and (4) the high-frequency EA elicited a greater effect than that of low-frequency EA in all groups ( ), with an exception at Jinsuo (DU8) + Yaoqi (EXB9). The EA-induced attenuation appeared 1–1.5 hours after EA with no appreciable effect in the first hour after EA in either the EEG or the behavioral tests. We conclude that EA attenuation of epileptic seizures is dependent on the stimulation parameters and acupoints and that the delay in appearance of the EA effect could be a reflection of the time required by the EA signal to regulate neural function in the central nervous system.