Cerebral Activity Changes in Different Traditional Chinese Medicine Patterns of Psychogenic Erectile Dysfunction Patients

Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2015;2015:503536. doi: 10.1155/2015/503536. Epub 2015 Jun 9.


Background. Pattern differentiation is the foundation of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) treatment for erectile dysfunction (ED). This study aims to investigate the differences in cerebral activity in ED patients with different TCM patterns. Methods. 27 psychogenic ED patients and 27 healthy subjects (HS) were enrolled in this study. Each participant underwent an fMRI scan in resting state. The fractional amplitude of low-frequency fluctuation (fALFF) was used to detect the brain activity changes in ED patients with different patterns. Results. Compared to HS, ED patients showed an increased cerebral activity in bilateral cerebellum, insula, globus pallidus, parahippocampal gyrus, orbitofrontal cortex (OFC), and middle cingulate cortex (MCC). Compared to the patients with liver-qi stagnation and spleen deficiency pattern (LSSDP), the patients with kidney-yang deficiency pattern (KDP) showed an increased activity in bilateral brainstem, cerebellum, hippocampus, and the right insula, thalamus, MCC, and a decreased activity in bilateral putamen, medial frontal gyrus, temporal pole, and the right caudate nucleus, OFC, anterior cingulate cortex, and posterior cingulate cortex (P < 0.005). Conclusions. The ED patients with different TCM patterns showed different brain activities. The differences in cerebral activity between LSSDP and KDP were mainly in the emotion-related regions, including prefrontal cortex and cingulated cortex.