Scalp electro-acupuncture increases connectivity of brain networks associated with cognitive function

A team of neuroscientists from China and America have found that electro-acupuncture stimulation (EAS) at scalp acupoints can increase functional connectivity (FC) of brain networks associated with cognitive function. In their study, they randomly divided 60 healthy subjects into two groups. Group 1 received sham acupuncture stimulation at acupoints Shenting DU-24 and Touwei ST-8 without EAS, while Group 2 underwent verum EAS at the same acupoints during functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). The researchers used statistical analysis to compare the differences in fMRI data between the two groups and to evaluate the changes in FC between brain networks after verum electrical stimulation. Their results showed that after the EAS intervention, there was a significant increase in functional connectivity in the right and left executive control networks, sensorimotor network, and attention network. Meanwhile, decreased functional connectivity was mainly observed in the default mode network.

A true response of the brain network during electroacupuncture stimulation at scalp acupoints: An fMRI with simultaneous EAS study. Brain Behav. 2023 Jan;13(1):e2829.