Acupoint-brain (acubrain) mapping: Common and distinct cortical language regions activated by focused ultrasound stimulation on two language-relevant acupoints.

Affiliation

Yuan D(1), Tian H(1), Zhou Y(1), Wu J(2), Sun T(3), Xiao Z(1), Shang C(4), Wang J(4), Chen X(3), Sun Y(5), Tang J(4), Qiu S(6), Tan LH(7).
Author information:
(1)Guangdong-Hongkong-Macau Institute of CNS Regeneration and Ministry of Education CNS Regeneration Collaborative Joint Laboratory, Jinan University, Guangzhou, China; Center for Language and Brain, Shenzhen Institute of Neuroscience, Shenzhen, China.
(2)The First School of Clinical Medicine, Guangzhou University of Chinese Medicine, Guangzhou, China.
(3)School of Biomedical Engineering, Shenzhen University Health Science Center, Shenzhen, China.
(4)Center for Language and Brain, Shenzhen Institute of Neuroscience, Shenzhen, China.
(5)Department of Biomedical Engineering, Medical Systems Biology Research Center, Tsinghua University School of Medicine, Beijing, China.
(6)Department of Radiology, First Affiliated Hospital of Guangzhou University of Chinese Medicine, Guangzhou, China. Electronic address: [Email]
(7)Guangdong-Hongkong-Macau Institute of CNS Regeneration and Ministry of Education CNS Regeneration Collaborative Joint Laboratory, Jinan University, Guangzhou, China; Center for Language and Brain, Shenzhen Institute of Neuroscience, Shenzhen, China. Electronic address: [Email]

Abstract

Acupuncture, taking the advantage of modality-specific neural pathways, has shown promising results in the treatment of brain disorders that affect different modalities such as pain and vision. However, the precise underlying mechanisms of within-modality neuromodulation of acupoints on human high-order cognition remain largely unknown. In the present study, we used a non-invasive and easy-operating method, focused ultrasound, to stimulate two language-relevant acupoints, namely GB39 (Xuanzhong) and SJ8 (Sanyangluo), of thirty healthy adults. The effect of focused ultrasound stimulation (FUS) on brain activation was examined by functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). We found that stimulating GB39 and SJ8 by FUS evoked overlapping but distinct brain activation patterns. Our findings provide a major step toward within-modality (in this case, language) acupoint-brain (acubrain) mapping and shed light on to the potential use of FUS as a personalized treatment option for brain disorders that affect high-level cognitive functions.