Acupuncture has been widely used as an alternative and complementary therapy for migraine. As neuroimaging techniques have advanced, the central mechanism of acupuncture for migraine has gained increasing attention. A study published in Pain Research and Management aimed to analyze the study design and main findings of neuroimaging studies of acupuncture for migraine treatment.

Researchers collated and screened original studies in three English databases (PubMed, Embase, and Cochrane Library), and four Chinese databases (Chinese National Knowledge Infrastructure, Chinese Biomedical Literature database, the Chongqing VIP database, and Wanfang database). In total, 28 articles were included in analysis.

According to the findings, functional magnetic resonance imaging was the most utilized neuroimaging technique to explore the cerebral activities of acupuncture for migraine. The review found that that acupuncture could elicit cerebral responses on patients with migraine, different from sham acupuncture.

“The results indicated that the pain systems, including the medial pain pathway, lateral pain pathway, and descending pain modulatory system, participated in the modulation of the cerebral activities of migraine by acupuncture,” the researchers concluded.



Keywords: acupuncture, migraine, complementary therapy