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《Acta Zoologica Sinica》 1978-01
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EFFECTS OF NALOXONE ON EXPERIMENTAL ACUPUNCTURE ANALGESIA EVALUATED BY SENSORY DECISION THEORY

Jiang Zhenyu(Shanghai Institute of Physiology, Academia Sinica)Ye Quiang Shen Youtang Zhu Fengxian (Shu Guang Hospital, Shanghai College of Chinese Medioine)Tang Shenqin Liang Ningjian Zeng Xingchu (Department of Psychology, Shanghai Teachers University)  
Experiments were made on young medical volunteers in the summer of 1976.Each of them participated in several experiments on different days.Changes of pain perception were detected by two different methods:(1) Percutaneous electrical stimulation:The stimulus was a train of square pulses delivered on the volar surface of the left forearm.Four intensities were designated for each subject:Or,0.85t,1t and 1.15t.One t was defined as the minimum current capable of eliciting faint pain and its average value for all subjects was 279±25μA (mean + S.E.) Before the experimental session,subjects were instructed to assign each stimulus experienced to one of the four categories:nothing,touch,faint pain,and pain.During each session 100 stimuli of the four intensity levels were delivered sequentially in random order.Data gathered were analysed by sensory decision theory.(2) Radiant heat test:Another area close to the former one was selected to be illuminated by an intense focalized light.The response time was taken as the pain threshold.Each experiment consisted of two or three sessions.The first session was taken as the control or basic level.Twenty-five minutes later the second session was carried out under one of the following conditions:(1) complete rest;(2) acupuncture.The needle was inserted into the left "Ho-Ku" point and twisted manually at the beginning of the session but was operated continuously by a mechanical manipulator instead of manual maneuver.During the induction period the acupuncturist kept talking with the subject about the needling-feeling and the effect of acupuncture analgesia.(3) placebo-acupuncture,the conditions were similar to those of true acupuncture except that after the subject had some sort of needling-feeling,the needle was drawn out swiftly without his awareness of its being pulled out while the mechanical manipulator kept running with the needle-stay still in contact with his skin and its rhythmic noise within his hearing range.If the acupuncture had got some analgesic effect the subject was given an intra-museular injection of 0.8 mg naloxone hydrcchloride or a vehicle solution and then the third session would be performed eight minutes later.The results are summarized as follows:1.Ten subjects attended a series of experiments including acupuncture,placebo- Jiang Zhenyu = Chiang Chenyu. acupuncture and rest,the order of which arranged randomly.In acupuncture experiments,the decrease in the sensory discrimination between faint pain and pain (d'2-s) was 0.641±0.206 (P 0.05) and between touch and faint pain (d'1-2) was 0.594 + 0.237 (P 0.05) respectively.At the same time,the verbal report criteria of faint pain (C1-s) and pain (C2-3) were also both elevated markedly.As to the radiant heat test,the pain threshold was significantly elevated from the control level of 11.25±1.12 sec to 13.08±1.35 sec (P 0.05).These changes mentioned above were not found in both placebo-acupuncture and rest experiments.2.In nine cases,once the decrease in d' induced by needling had been observed,0.8 mg naloxone hydrochloride was injected intramuscularly,and eight minutes later the d' value was partially restored.This partially reversed effect by naloxone has also been found on radiant heat test.Eeversions in both cases were statistically significant.On the contrary,in another group of nine subjects administered with vehicle solution,the acupuncture analgesic effect remained unchanged.3.In a control group of ten subjects,neither apparent changes of d' and C,nor those of the radiant heat threshold have been found following administration of naloxone.Prom these experimental data it could be inferred:1.The moderate changes of d' during needling might indicate that the weak analgesic effect of acupuncture does have its physiological basis,though it has also somewhat psychological implications indicated by the simultaneous increase in G.2.Naloxone itself has no marked influence on pain perception in normal subjects,but it could partially reverse the acupuncture analgesia.This experimental fact indicates that the mechanis
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