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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2016, Article ID 6908710, 10 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2016/6908710
Research Article

Acupuncture Decreases Blood Pressure Related to Hypothalamus Functional Connectivity with Frontal Lobe, Cerebellum, and Insula: A Study of Instantaneous and Short-Term Acupuncture Treatment in Essential Hypertension

1School of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Southern Medical University, Guangzhou, Guangdong Province 510515, China
2Clinical School of Acupuncture and Rehabilitation, Guangzhou University of Chinese Medicine, Guangzhou, Guangdong Province 510405, China

Received 1 March 2016; Revised 24 June 2016; Accepted 26 July 2016

Academic Editor: Alfredo Vannacci

Copyright © 2016 Yu Zheng 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

The therapeutic effects of acupuncture in decreasing blood pressure are ambiguous and underlying acupuncture in hypertension treatment has not been investigated. Our objective was to observe the change of quality of life and compare the differences in brain functional connectivity by investigating instantaneous and short-term acupuncture treatment in essential hypertension patients. A total of 30 patients were randomly divided into the LR3 group and sham acupoint group. Subjects received resting-state fMRI among preacupuncture, postinstantaneous, and short-term acupuncture treatment in two groups. Hypothalamus was selected as the seed point to analyze the changes in connectivity. We found three kinds of results: (1) There was statistical difference in systolic blood pressure in LR3 group after the short-term treatment and before acupuncture. (2) Compared with sham acupoint, acupuncture at LR3 instantaneous effects in the functional connectivity with seed points was more concentrated in the frontal lobe. (3) Compared with instantaneous effects, acupuncture LR3 short-term effects in the functional connectivity with seed points had more regions in frontal lobe, cerebellum, and insula. These brain areas constituted a neural network structure with specific functions that could explain the mechanism of therapy in hypertension patients by LR3 acupoint.