Medical Research

Electroacupuncture at GB20 Relieves Migraine and Lowers CGRP in Animals

Kristen Sparrow • June 17, 2017

I was not aware that migraine sufferers had cutaneous allodynia.  That may account for the exaggerated autonomic response to needling I’ve noticed in the clinic.
Neural Regen Res. 2017 May;12(5):804-811. doi: 10.4103/1673-5374.206652.

Electroacupuncture at Fengchi (GB20) inhibits calcitonin gene-related peptide expression in the trigeminovascular system of a rat model of migraine.


Most migraine patients suffer from cutaneous allodynia; however, the underlying mechanisms are unclear. Calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) plays an important role in the pathophysiology of migraine, and it is therefore, a potential therapeutic target for treating the pain. In the present study, a rat model of conscious migraine, induced by repeated electrical stimulation of the superior sagittal sinus, was established and treated with electroacupuncture at Fengchi (GB20) (depth of 2-3 mm, frequency of 2/15 Hz, intensity of 0.5-1.0 mA, 15 minutes/day, for 7 consecutive days). Electroacupuncture at GB20 significantly alleviated the decrease in hind paw and facial withdrawal thresholds and significantly lessened the increase in the levels of CGRP in the trigeminal ganglion, trigeminal nucleus caudalis and ventroposterior medial thalamic nucleus in rats with migraine. No CGRP-positive cells were detected in the trigeminal nucleus caudalis or ventroposterior medial thalamic nucleus by immunofluorescence. Our findings suggest that electroacupuncture treatment ameliorates migraine pain and associated cutaneous allodynia by modulating the trigeminovascular system ascending pathway, at least in part by inhibiting CGRP expression in the trigeminal ganglion.


Fengchi; anti-nociceptive; calcitonin gene-related peptide; cutaneous allodynia; electroacupuncture; migraine; nerve regeneration; neural regeneration; trigeminal ganglion