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Chen S.,Chinese Academy of Sciences | Wang S.,China General Meitan Hospital | Rong P.,Chinese Academy of Sciences | Liu J.,Chinese Academy of Sciences | And 2 more authors.
Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine | Year: 2014

Neurostimulation procedures like vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) and deep brain stimulation have been used to treat refractory epilepsy and other neurological disorders. While holding promise, they are invasive interventions with serious complications and adverse effects. Moreover, their efficacies are modest with less seizure free. Acupuncture is a simple, safe, and effective traditional healing modality for a wide range of diseases including pain and epilepsy. Thalamus takes critical role in sensory transmission and is highly involved in epilepsy genesis particularly the absence epilepsy. Considering thalamus serves as a convergent structure for both acupuncture and VNS and the thalamic neuronal activities can be modulated by acupuncture, we propose that acupuncture could be a promising therapy or at least a screening tool to select suitable candidates for those invasive modalities in the management of refractory epilepsy. © 2014 Shuping Chen et al. Source


Chen S.,Chinese Academy of Sciences | Wang S.,China General Meitan Hospital | Rong P.,Chinese Academy of Sciences | Wang J.,Chinese Academy of Sciences | And 4 more authors.
Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine | Year: 2014

Visceral pain is the most common form of pain caused by varied diseases and a major reason for patients to seek medical consultation. Despite much advances, the pathophysiological mechanism is still poorly understood comparing with its somatic counterpart and, as a result, the therapeutic efficacy is usually unsatisfactory. Acupuncture has long been used for the management of numerous disorders in particular pain and visceral pain, characterized by the high therapeutic benefits and low adverse effects. Previous findings suggest that acupuncture depresses pain via activation of a number of neurotransmitters or modulators including opioid peptides, serotonin, norepinephrine, and adenosine centrally and peripherally. It endows us, by advancing the understanding of the role of ion channels and gut microbiota in pain process, with novel perspectives to probe the mechanisms underlying acupuncture analgesia. In this review, after describing the visceral innervation and the relevant afferent pathways, in particular the ion channels in visceral nociception, we propose three principal mechanisms responsible for acupuncture induced benefits on visceral pain. Finally, potential topics are highlighted regarding the future studies in this field. © 2014 Shuping Chen et al. Source

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