It is widely known that acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medicine technique. This technique is often used to help improve the level of consciousness in patients with disorder of consciousness (DOC).
However, the responses to stimulation of acupoints in patients with DOC are not fully understood. Hao Zhang and colleagues from China Rehabilitation Research Center found that acupuncture at the Yongquan acupoints induced stronger neuronal activity than acupuncture at the sham acupoints shown on positron emission tomography (PET). These researchers believe that acupuncture at the Yongquan acupoints may increase synaptic activity in some areas of the brain. The putamen, cingulate cortex, frontal lobe and cerebellum are involved in conscious thought. This may explain the mechanism by which acupuncture at the Yongquan acupoints results in improvement of patients with DOC. These finding have been published in the Neural Regeneration Research (Vol. 9, No. 5, 2014).