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Original Research ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Neurol. | doi: 10.3389/fneur.2019.01114

Acupuncture effect and mechanism for treating pain in patients with Parkinson’s disease

 ShaoWen Yu1,  Sung-han Lin2,  Chih-Chien Tsai2, Kallol R. Chaudhuri3, 4, Yu-Chieh Hunag5, 6, Yu-Sheng Chen1, Bo-Yan Yeh1,  Yih-Ru Wu7* and  Jiun-Jie Wang2*
  • 1Department of Acupuncture and Chinese Traumatology, Linkou Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Taiwan
  • 2Department of Medical Imaging and Radiological Sciences, College of Medicine, Chang Gung University, Taiwan
  • 3King's College London, United Kingdom
  • 4Parkinson Foundation International Centre of Excellence, United Kingdom
  • 5Department of Medical Imaging and Intervention, Keelung Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Taiwan
  • 6Chang Gung University, Taiwan
  • 7Department of Neurology, Linkou Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Taiwan

Nonmotor symptoms of Parkinson’s disease (PD) have been receiving increasing attention. Approximately half of patients with PD have experience related pain. We investigated the effect and mechanism of acupuncture in patients with PD who have pain. PD patients with pain were divided into acupuncture group and control group. Nine patients completed acupuncture treatment; seven patients who received only an analgesic agent underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging twice. Functional magnetic resonance imaging was performed to evaluate the functional connectivity of the brain regions. After treatment, a decrease in total scores on the King’s Parkinson’s Disease Pain Scale (KPPS) and Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale was observed in the acupuncture group (−46.2% and −21.6%, respectively). In the acupuncture group, increased connectivity was observed in four connections in the left hemisphere between the middle temporal gyrus (MTG) and precentral gyrus and in the right hemisphere between the postcentral gyrus and precentral gyrus, supramarginal gyrus and precentral gyrus, and MTG and insular cortex. A significant correlation was noted between the changes in functional connectivity and KPPS. The involved connection was between the left middle frontal gyrus and the right precentral gyrus (R = −0.698, P = .037). Acupuncture could relieve pain in PD patients by modulating brain regions related to both sensory-discriminative and emotional aspects. The present study might increase the confidence of users that acupuncture is an effective and safe analgesic tool that can relieve PD-related pain.

Keywords: Pain, Parkinson's disease, resting state fMRI, Acupuncture, KPPS

Received: 22 May 2019; Accepted: 04 Oct 2019.

Copyright: © 2019 Yu, Lin, Tsai, Chaudhuri, Hunag, Chen, Yeh, Wu and Wang. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence:
Prof. Yih-Ru Wu, Department of Neurology, Linkou Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan, yihruwu@adm.cgmh.org.tw
Prof. Jiun-Jie Wang, Department of Medical Imaging and Radiological Sciences, College of Medicine, Chang Gung University, Taoyuan, Taiwan, jiunjie.wang@gmail.com