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Effect of Acupuncture on Human Brain Activity

This study has been completed.
Information provided by:
National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) Identifier:
First received: March 18, 2004
Last updated: January 23, 2008
Last verified: January 2008
The purpose of this study is to use brain imaging technology to examine the way acupuncture affects brain function.

Condition Intervention
Procedure: Acupuncture

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Non-Randomized
Intervention Model: Single Group Assignment
Masking: Open Label
Official Title: Modulatory Effect of Acupuncture on Human Brain Activity

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH):

Study Start Date: July 2002
Study Completion Date: April 2005
Primary Completion Date: April 2005 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Detailed Description:

Acupuncture is emerging as an important procedure in complementary medicine. Its mechanism of action remains unclear, but research suggests that its effects are mediated through a widely connected network that is involved in the regulation of mood, behavior, and function of physiological systems. This study will use functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to monitor the effects of manual acupuncture on the brain function of study participants.

Participants in this study will undergo acupuncture one needle at a time. Researchers will then ask participants questions about how they feel and will compare the sensations reported by participants to their images of brain response.


Ages Eligible for Study:   Child, Adult, Senior
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes

Inclusion Criteria:

  • In good physical health
  Contacts and Locations
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Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT00079898

Sponsors and Collaborators
National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH)
Principal Investigator: Kathleen Hui, MD Massachusetts General Hospital