Effect of acupuncture on the brain in children with spastic cerebral palsy using functional neuroimaging (FMRI)

J Child Neurol. 2008 Nov;23(11):1267-74. doi: 10.1177/0883073808318049.


We study the effect of acupuncture on brain activation patterns in children with cerebral palsy using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). fMRI of the whole brain was performed in 11 children with cerebral palsy and 10 healthy children during stimulation of a common acupoint in Traditional Medicine [Liv3 (Taichong)] on the left foot. We use both twisting and nontwisting methods with a blocked paradigm on a 2.0 Tesla MRI scanner. Functional data were analyzed by using Statistical Parametric Mapping software (SPM 99). Both signal increase and decrease in various regions of the brain were found in both groups of children. However, the pattern was different for the 2 groups, especially with decreases in signal regions. We suggest that the observed differences between children with cerebral palsy and healthy children with the stimulation of acupoint Liv3 might be due to blockage of the liver meridian in children with cerebral palsy.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acupuncture / methods*
  • Brain / blood supply*
  • Brain / pathology
  • Brain / physiopathology
  • Brain Mapping
  • Cerebral Palsy / pathology*
  • Cerebral Palsy / therapy*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted / methods
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging* / methods
  • Male
  • Oxygen / blood


  • Oxygen