Using brain functional magnetic resonance imaging to evaluate the effectiveness of acupuncture combined with mirror therapy on upper limb function in patients with cerebral ischemic stroke


Autor: Mingzhu Xu et al


Journal: BMC, englisch


Background
Upper limb and hand motor dysfunction is one of the challenges in rehabilitation after cerebral ischemic stroke (CIS), and the clinical efficacy of rehabilitation needs to be improved. This study aims to combine Jin’s three-needle acupuncture (JTN) therapy with mirror therapy (MT) for hemiplegia after CIS, objectively evaluate the clinical effects and safety of JTN to treat upper limb dysfunction, and use functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) of the brain to investigate the central mechanisms of the effects, which would provide a powerful evidence-based medical basis for further supporting the application of JTN combined with MT.

Methods/design
This trial will be a single-blind, randomized controlled study. Patients who meet the study criteria will be recruited and randomly assigned to either the combined treatment group (JTN+MT) or the JTN group. Both interventions will be conducted for 6 days per week and last for 4 weeks. The primary outcome will be the effective rate based on the Fugl–Meyer Assessment for Upper Extremity (FMA-UE). Other outcome measures will include scores on the motor assessment scale (MAS), action research arm test (ARAT), activities of daily living (ADL) scale, and fMRI analyses. For safety evaluation, adverse events will be observed and recorded.

Discussion
This study may help to identify the efficacy and safety of acupuncture combined with MT for upper limb dysfunction after CIS and explore the central mechanisms with brain fMRI.


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