Acupuncture Reactivates Inactive Brain Regions among Parkinson’s Patients

By Sharon Moore on September 24, 2012

Certain regions in the brain are too inactive in people who have Parkinson’s disease. These include the thalamus, the supplementary motor area, and the putamen. However, acupuncture tends to reactivate them, causing a reduction in the symptoms – a new study found.

Parkinson Disease

It is estimated that 127,000 Britons suffer from Parkinson’s disease which is equivalent to one in 5 people. This progressive degenerative neurological disorder affects one’s ability to move, speak, write, and perform many other activities.

Parkinson’s basically targets the nervous system and significantly affects the patient’s quality of life. The development of the disease takes place gradually until the patient becomes partially or completely paralysed.

Until today, there is no known treatment for Parkinson’s. Current medical approaches are aimed to manage the symptoms or delay their development. Medications prescribed to patients were proven to help however; the symptoms go back as the effects of drugs wear off or when the patient stops using them.

Researchers from the University, Seoul, Korea studied the effects of acupuncture among patients with Parkinson’s disease. On their study background, they highlighted some studies revealing the positive effects of this 2,000 year-old therapy to the reduction of symptoms.

Acupuncture Reactivates Dormant Regions in the Brain

Acupuncture is becoming more than a placebo as more and more studies (both on humans and animals) are giving proofs on its effectiveness as a form of treatment. Just recently, an article published in JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association) found that acupuncture may help reduce chronic pain.

The current study involved 12 patients with Parkinson’s disease and 12 healthy individuals. According to the researchers, certain parts of the brain became too inactive among those who have Parkinson’s disease. But with acupuncture, particularly through the point GB34 (Yanglinqquan), the brain received better neural responses in different regions including the putamen, thalamus, basal ganglia, substantia nigra and caudate, causing them to reactivate.

The report was published in the CNS Neuroscience & Therapeutics.


Source of this article:

Yeo, S., Lim, S., Choe, I.-H., Choi, Y.-G., Chung, K.-C., Jahng, G.-H. and Kim, S.-H. (2012)”Acupuncture Stimulation on GB34 Activates Neural Responses Associated with Parkinson’s Disease”CNS Neuroscience & Therapeutics, 18: 781-790. doi: 10.1111/j.1755-5949.2012.00363.x.


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