Jamie Gisby

Acupuncture improves brain connections in migraine patients.

migraineAcupuncture treatment modulates the resting-state functional connectivity of brain regions in migraine patients without aura.

New research in China shows that acupuncture treatment can increase functional connectivity in brain regions that show decreased connectivity in migraine without aura (MWoA) patients. Migraine patients often experience warning signs, known as aura, such as flashing lights. However, some patients will develop symptoms such as a severe headache, felt as a throbbing pain at the front or side of the head, without any warning.. These patients are described as having migraine without aura. It is also possible to experience migraine aura without headache; I’ve had a couple of these ‘silent migraines’ myself.

Some people also have other symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting and increased sensitivity to light or sound. Migraine is a common health condition, affecting around one in every five women and around one in every 15 men. They usually begin in early adulthood.

Chinese researchers performed the following study:

Twelve MWoA patients were treated with standard acupuncture treatment for four weeks. All patients received resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scanning before and after acupuncture. Another 12 normal subjects matched in age and gender were recruited to serve as healthy controls. Before acupuncture treatment, the MWoA patients were found to have significantly decreased functional connectivity in brain regions within the frontal and temporal lobe when compared with the healthy controls. After acupuncture treatment MWoA patients demonstrated a significant reduction in the number of brain regions showing decreased functional connectivity.

Acupuncture treatment modulates the resting-state functional connectivity of brain regions in migraine patients without aura. Chin J Integr Med. 2015 Apr 6. [Epub ahead of print].

 

 

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