Brain responses to acupuncture stimulation in the prosthetic hand of an amputee patient

In Seon Lee, Won Mo Jung, Ye Seul Lee, Christian Wallraven, Younbyoung Chae

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This report describes the brain responses to acupuncture in an upper limb amputee patient. A 62-year-old male had previously undergone a lower left arm amputation following an electrical accident. Using functional MRI, we investigated brain responses to acupuncture stimulation in the aforementioned amputee under three conditions: (a) intact hand, (b) prosthetic hand (used by the patient), and (c) fake fabric hand. The patient described greater de qi sensation when he received acupuncture stimulation in his prosthetic hand compared to a fake hand, with both stimulations performed in a similar manner. We found enhanced brain activation in the insula and sensorimotor cortex in response to acupuncture stimulation in the amputee's prosthetic hand, while there was only minimal activation in the visual cortex in response to acupuncture stimulation in a fake hand. The enhanced brain responses to acupuncture stimulation of the patient's prosthetic hand might be derived from cortical reorganisation, as he has been using his prosthetic hand for over 40 years. Our findings suggest the possible use of acupuncture stimulation in a prosthetic hand as an enhanced sensory feedback mechanism, which may represent a new treatment approach for phantom limb pain.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)420-424
Number of pages5
JournalAcupuncture in Medicine
Volume33
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Oct 1

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Amputees
Acupuncture
Hand
Brain
Phantom Limb
Qi
Sensory Feedback
Visual Cortex
Amputation
Upper Extremity
Accidents
Arm
Magnetic Resonance Imaging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Complementary and alternative medicine

Cite this

Brain responses to acupuncture stimulation in the prosthetic hand of an amputee patient. / Lee, In Seon; Jung, Won Mo; Lee, Ye Seul; Wallraven, Christian; Chae, Younbyoung.

In: Acupuncture in Medicine, Vol. 33, No. 5, 01.10.2015, p. 420-424.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Lee, In Seon ; Jung, Won Mo ; Lee, Ye Seul ; Wallraven, Christian ; Chae, Younbyoung. / Brain responses to acupuncture stimulation in the prosthetic hand of an amputee patient. In: Acupuncture in Medicine. 2015 ; Vol. 33, No. 5. pp. 420-424.
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