Acupuncture treatment associated with functional connectivity changes in primary dysmenorrhea_ Cheng-Hao Tu
【Acupuncture treatment associated with functional connectivity changes in primary dysmenorrhea_ Cheng-Hao Tu】
Journal of Clinical Medicine, Oct. 15, 2021
Associate Professor Cheng-Hao Tu
Primary dysmenorrhea (PDM) is the most commonly encountered gynecological problem in reproductive-age women. Acupuncture has been suggested as an effective treatment of PDM that may modulate descending pain modulation systems. Thus, we used resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging to investigate possible changes in descending pain modulation systems after acupuncture treatment in women with PDM. Subjects were randomly allocated to an 8-week verum or sham acupuncture intervention on the bilateral Sanyinjiao (SP6). Resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging was conducted before, during, and after the intervention to measure the spontaneous activity in brain. After the 8-week intervention, both verum and sham groups reported decreased menstrual pain. However, the cessation of decreased functional connectivity (FC) between periaqueductal gray matter and the regions associated with affective pain modulation and attention-related pain modulation were found in the verum but not in the sham group after the 8-week intervention. More decreased FC has been found in the region associated with non-specific effects of acupuncture intervention after the early stage of acupuncture intervention. These results indicated that verum acupuncture may intercept the altered FC in descending pain modulation systems in PDM.