Lasers in Medical Science

, Volume 20, Issue 2, pp 68–73

Laser acupuncture induced specific cerebral cortical and subcortical activations in humans

Authors

    • Department of Radiology IIUniversity Hospital of Innsbruck
  • Florian Koppelstaetter
    • Department of Radiology IIUniversity Hospital of Innsbruck
  • Ilka  Anna Haala
    • Department of Radiology IIUniversity Hospital of Innsbruck
  • Veronika Haid
    • Department of Radiology IIUniversity Hospital of Innsbruck
  • Paul Rhomberg
    • Department of Radiology IIUniversity Hospital of Innsbruck
  • Anja Ischebeck
    • Department of NeurologyUniversity Hospital of Innsbruck
  • Waltraud Buchberger
    • Institute for Health ScienceUniversity for Health Sciences, Medical Informatics and Technology UMIT
  • Stephan Felber
    • Department of Radiology IIUniversity Hospital of Innsbruck
  • Andreas Schlager
    • Department of Anaesthesiology and Critical Care MedicineUniversity Hospital of Innsbruck
  • Stefan M. Golaszewski
    • Department of Radiology IIUniversity Hospital of Innsbruck
    • Neurological Therapy Centre, Duesseldorf and St. Mauritius Therapy Hospital, MeerbuschUniversity Hospital of Duesseldorf
Original Article

DOI: 10.1007/s10103-005-0340-3

Cite this article as:
Siedentopf, C.M., Koppelstaetter, F., Haala, I.A. et al. Lasers Med Sci (2005) 20: 68. doi:10.1007/s10103-005-0340-3

Abstract

As recent studies demonstrated, acupuncture can elicit activity in specific brain areas. This study aims to explore further the central effect using laser acupuncture. We investigated the cerebral effects of laser acupuncture at both acupoints GB43 with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). As a control condition the laser was mounted at the same acupoints but without application of laser stimulation. The group results showed significant brain activations within the thalamus, nucleus subthalamicus, nucleus ruber, the brainstem, and the Brodmann areas 40 and 22 for the acupuncture condition. No significant brain activations were observed within the placebo condition. The activations we observed were laser acupuncture-specific and predominantly ipsilateral. This supports the assumption that acupuncture is mediated by meridians, since meridians do not cross to the other side. Furthermore, we could show that laser acupuncture allows one to design a pure placebo condition.

Keywords

Laser acupunctureAcupoint GB43XiaxiFunctional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI)

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Limited 2005