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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2015, Article ID 384389, 12 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2015/384389
Research Article

Connectivity Study of the Neuromechanism of Acute Acupuncture Needling during fMRI in “Overweight” Subjects

1School of Life Science and Technology, Xidian University, Xi’an 710071, China
2Department of Psychiatry & McKnight Brain Institute, University of Florida, 1149 S. Newell Dr. L4-100K, Gainesville, FL 32610, USA
3Beijing University of Chinese Medicine, Beijing 100029, China
4Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Florida, P.O. Box 100126 2015 SW 16th Avenue, Gainesville, FL 32610, USA

Received 19 October 2014; Revised 29 December 2014; Accepted 29 December 2014

Academic Editor: Jian Kong

Copyright © 2015 Karen M. von Deneen 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.

Abstract

This functional connectivity study depicts how acupoints ST 36 and SP 9 and their sham acupoints acutely act on blood glucose (GLU), core body temperature (CBT), hunger, and sensations pertaining to needling (De-qi) via the limbic system and dopamine (DA) to affect various brain areas in fasting, adult, and “overweight” Chinese males using functional magnetic resonance imaging. Functional connectivity (FC) analysis utilized the amygdala (AMY) and hypothalamus (HYP) as regions of interest (ROIs) in the discrete cosine transform and seed correlation analysis methods. There was a significant difference in the spatial patterns of the distinct brain regions between groups. Correlation results showed that increased HYP-hippocampus FC after ACU was positively correlated with ACU-induced change in CBT; increased HYP-putamen-insula FC after ACU was positively correlated with ACU-induced change in GLU; and increased HYP-anterior cingulate cortex FC after ACU was positively correlated with ACU-induced change in HUNGER suggesting that increased DA modulation during ACU was probably associated with increased poststimulation limbic system and spinothalamic tract connectivity. Decreased HYP-thalamus FC after ACU was negatively correlated or anticorrelated with ACU-induced change in HUNGER suggesting that increased DA modulation during ACU was possibly associated with decreased poststimulation limbic system and spinothalamic tract connectivity. No correlation was found for min SHAM. This was an important study in addressing acute acupuncture effects and neural pathways involving physiology and appetite regulation in overweight individuals.