Acupuncture for Refractory Epilepsy: Role of Thalamus

Shuping Chen, Shubin Wang, Peijing Rong, Junling Liu, Hong Qi Zhang, Jianliang Zhang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)
48 Downloads (Pure)


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.

Original languageEnglish
Article number950631
JournalEvidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Publication statusPublished - 7 Dec 2014

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Complementary and alternative medicine


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