Objective: To explore the central regulatory mechanism of electroacupuncture (EA) on patients with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Methods: Fourteen patients of PTSD were selected as study objects and treated with "regulating mind and restoring consciousness" acupuncture method, in which Baihui (GV 20) and Shenting (GV 24) were used as main acupoints and Sishencong (EX-HN 1) and Fengchi (GB 20) were used as supporting acupoints for acupuncture. After the arrival of qi, Han's acupoint nerve stimulator was connected for 30 min per treatment, three times a week for consecutive 12 weeks. Before treatment and 12 weeks into treatment, the clinician administered PTSD scale (CAPS), self-rating anxiety scale (SAS) and self-rating depression scale (SDS) were evaluated; a Siemens 3.0 T magnetic resonance imaging system was used to perform resting-state scan, and bilateral hippocampus were taken as region of interested to perform encephalic function connectivity analysis.
Results: After the treatment, the scores of CAPS, SAS and SDS were all reduced compared with those before treatment (all P<0.05) ; function connectivity was enhanced in bilateral hippocampus, right posterior central gyrus and left superior parietal lobule (2.3<Z<4.0, P<0.05), but the connectivity in left parahippocampal gyrus and right amygdaloid nucleus was suppressed.
Conclusion: Electroacupuncture has certain improving effects on PTSD symptoms, which is likely to be related with enhancing the connectivity between parietal lobe and hippocampus, suppressing the connectivity between hippocampus and parahippocampal gyrus, amygdaloid, leading to an indirect influence on limbic system.