Different brain responses to electro-acupuncture and moxibustion treatment in patients with Crohn's disease

Chunhui Bao, Peng Liu, Huirong Liu, Xiaoming Jin, Vince D. Calhoun, Luyi Wu, Yin Shi, Jianye Zhang, Xiaoqing Zeng, Lili Ma, Wei Qin, Jingzhi Zhang, Xiaoming Liu, Jie Tian, Huangan Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study aimed to investigate changes in resting state brain activity in remissive Crohn's Disease (CD) patients after electro-acupuncture or moxibustion treatment. Fifty-two CD patients and 36 healthy subjects were enrolled, and 36 patients were equally and randomly assigned to receive either electro-acupuncture or moxibustion treatment for twelve weeks. We used resting state functional magnetic resonance imaging to assess Regional Homogeneity (ReHo) levels, and Crohn's Disease Activity Index (CDAI) and Inflammatory Bowel Disease Questionnaire (IBDQ) scores to evaluate disease severity and quality of life. The results show that (i) The ReHo levels in CD patients were significantly increased in cortical but decreased in subcortical areas, and the coupling between them was declined. (ii) Both treatments decreased CDAI, increased IBDQ scores, and normalized the ReHo values of the cortical and subcortical regions. (iii) ReHo changes in multiple cortical regions were significantly correlated with CDAI score decreases. ReHo changes in several subcortical regions in the electro-acupuncture group, and those of several cortical regions in the moxibustion group, were correlated with reduced CDAI. These findings suggest that both treatments improved cortex-subcortical coupling in remissive CD patients, but electro-acupuncture regulated homeostatic afferent processing network, while moxibustion mainly regulated the default mode network of the brain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number36636
JournalScientific reports
StatePublished - Nov 18 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


Dive into the research topics of 'Different brain responses to electro-acupuncture and moxibustion treatment in patients with Crohn's disease'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this