TCM Kongress Rothenburg o.d.T.

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The Earth School, Gastro and Neurogastroenterology, Li Gao: Pi Wei Lun

MRI Evidence Show Acupoints on the Scalp Map to Distinct Functional Areas on the Cerebral Cortex

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Thursday, 21st May 2020
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Background: According to classical texts, symptoms of paralysis, seizures, aphasia, loss of hearing, vision and memory can be treated with scalp acupoints. Trans-cranial relationship between scalp stimulation and cortical areas is implied but has yet to be systematically investigated. Our objective is to use magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to correlate scalp acupoints to brain scans to compare the correspondence between traditional indications with established functional Brodmann areas (BA).
Method: Heads from 11 subjects were scanned at York University MRI Facility using a Siemens 3T Magnetom Scanner. BrainSight software was used to label all 40 unique acupoints from each person then projected onto the brain surface to obtain 3-dimenstional co-ordinates. All co-ordinates were averaged across 11 subjects then mapped to BA.

Results: Scalp acupoints were found to correspond to distinct functional area: executive/memory area (frontal, prefrontal), motor area (primary, pre-motor, association), somatosensory area (primary, secondary), visual area (primary, secondary & association), auditory area, language area (angular gyrus, fusiform gyrus, Wernike) and cerebellum.
Conclusion: The present research revealed scalp acupoints cover very distinct cortical functional areas raising the questions how this could have been determined without neuro-imaging. The majority of indications for scalp acupoints can be explained based on their neuro-scientific correspondence to BA. We identified novel acupoint indications that have never been described such as odor, color and facial recognition. Knowledge of this new map has direct clinical implications on how needling should be angled to achieve optimal coverage of dysfunctional cortical areas.

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