Objective: To observe the functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data changes of default mode network (DMN) in chronic sciatica patients in the resting network state treated by acupuncture, and to study the correlation between DMN and the consisting effects after acupuncture analgesia.
Methods: Weizhong (BL40) and Huantiao (GB30) of the patients' lower limbs were selected as the main points to acupuncture for ten times. The whole brain was scanned using fMRI. The independent component analysis (ICA) was adopted to get DMN information. The brain DMN function link was analyzed in the two groups of subjects.
Results: The DMN images were obtained in all subjects after DMN fMRI data processing. The main DMN differences between the sciatica patients group and the healthy control group were demonstrated as decreased activities of DLPFC and anterior cingulate cortex (ACC). After acupuncture, activities of these regions basically recovered to normal. The DMN of healthy volunteers shown by fMRI data in the RNS mainly existed in the precuneus, BA7, BA10, and ACC.
Conclusion: MRI images of DMN in the RNS could reflect chronic pain, which was suitable for studies on the effects after acupuncture analgesia.