A New Pattern of Electroacupuncture Treatment on Post-stroke Aphasia

May. 25,2022
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Aphasia was one of common complications of cerebral infarction, especially the motor aphasia occupying 67% of post-stroke aphasia. The recovery, employment, social contact, quality of life and mental health of patients suffering from aphasia were seriously affected due to loss of ability of normal communication, resulting in more complications and mortalities of patients from post-stroke aphasia than those from stoke without aphasia. In recent years, scalp acupuncture in combination with speech training had good efficacies on post-stroke aphasia, while there were no uniform standards on acupoint position and technique of scalp acupuncture as well as quantitative indicators for optimum treatment. Especially, there were various selections of scalp electroacupuncture therapies and treatment zones as well as different parameters of electrical stimulations, resulting in inaccurate positioning, inappropriate use of electro-acupuncture and poor efficacies, etc., which affected promotion and development of scalp electroacupuncture.

In normal physiological model, various functions of cortexes of both cerebral hemispheres kept in balance which was realized by mutual inhibition of functions of corpus callosums, i.e., when the brain was injured on one hemisphere, the balance of central nervous system was broken so that the excitabilities between two hemispheres were not equal and the suppression from the injured hemisphere to the contralateral hemisphere was weakened or even lost, resulting in relatively increase of excitability of the language function of the contralateral hemisphere, impeding recovery of language function and even further worsening aphasia. Such a standpoint was supported by many related literatures. The scalp acupuncture was based on awareness of physiology and anatomy of the brain to regulate cerebral functions by stimulating corresponding “projection areas” or “acupoint areas”. The scalp acupuncture was used with electrical stimulation to excite the language zone at the hemisphere with cerebral infarction while suppressing treatment of the language zone on the contralateral hemisphere to achieve expected activation and suppression of specific functions of cerebral cortexes, so as to re-balance cerebral cortexes of both sides, providing a new pattern for treatment of post-stroke aphasia with scalp acupuncture.

As reported by Lou Xiqiang, Liu Xiang, Liu Chunhua, Lin Huajian, Liu Hong and Ling Jun in acupuncture department of Lishui Hospital of TCM awarded as one of priority specialities in “the 13th Five-year Plan” in Zhejiang Province, in the clinical study report in the title of “Observation of Efficacy on Post-stroke Motor Aphasia Treated with Electrical Stimulation for Balance by Scalp Acupuncture” (which was published in the Journal of Chinese Acupuncture & Moxibustion), the authors compared the clinical efficacies of electrical stimulation for balance via scalp acupuncture and conventional scalp acupuncture on motor aphasia at subacute stage of stroke by clinical observations.

The results indicated that the “electrical stimulation for balance” basing on scalp acupuncture played a good role in two-way regulation of deficiency and excess of human bodies, and could accurately control various stimulus parameters and simulate reinforcing and reducing manipulations so as to improve cerebral circulation, activate specific functional regions in cortexes, accelerate rebuilding and recovering of cerebral language function, improve efficacy of acupuncture and strengthen the promotion and use of scalp electroacupuncture in clinical practice.

The results were published on Chinese Acupuncture & Moxibustion in No. 11, 2021. The original research paper is available in https://zgze.cbpt.cnki.net/WKA/WebPublication/paperDigest.aspx?paperID=a6777cc2-4ad2-4e03-88c4-dd125d33c583.

Corresponding Author: LOU Xiqiang
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CNKI Press Officer: LI Jingjing YANG Na
Email: ljj6806@cnki.net yn6791@cnki.net

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