Antiepileptic effects of electroacupuncture vs vagus nerve stimulation on cortical epileptiform activities

Jian Liang Zhang, Shi Ping Zhang, Hong Qi Zhang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Introduced about two decades ago, vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) therapy has been increasingly used for the treatment of refractory epilepsy recently. This study was set out to compare the effects between VNS and electroacupuncture (EA) on pentylenetetrazole (PTZ) induced epileptiform activities in the rat cerebral cortex. Under general anesthesia, the parietal cortex of the rat (n = 20) was exposed to record the cortical epileptiform activities. The left vagus nerve was stimulated at 30 Hz, 1 mA or 3 mA for 5 min. For EA, "Dazhui" acupoint (GV14) was stimulated with a pair of acupuncture needles with the same parameters. The results show that both VNS and EA at either 1 mA or 3 mA could inhibit the PTZ-induced cortical epileptiform activities, and higher stimulation (3 mA) was not associated with a greater inhibition. In the cases that showed inhibitory responses, there were no statistically significant differences between the two modalities, implying that EA could be comparable to VNS in the treatment of epilepsy. Thus, under current experimental settings, the antiepileptic effect induced by electrical stimulation appeared not vagal specific, and EA could be a good alternative to VNS in the management of epilepsy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)114-121
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the Neurological Sciences
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jul 2008

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology

User-Defined Keywords

  • Cortex
  • Electroacupuncture
  • Epilepsy
  • Pentylenetetrazole
  • Rat
  • Vagus nerve stimulation


Dive into the research topics of 'Antiepileptic effects of electroacupuncture vs vagus nerve stimulation on cortical epileptiform activities'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this