Acupuncture at Taixi KID-3 can enhance activity in brain areas associated with memory in patients suffering from mild cognitive impairment (MCI). Chinese investigators performed fMRI while subjects received deep (DA) or superficial acupuncture (SA) at acupoint Taixi KID-3. The scans showed abnormal functional connectivity in the temporal regions (hippocampus, thalamus, fusiform gyrus), which are implicated in memory encoding and retrieval. Following DA there were significant, persistent enhancements functional connectivity in these regions compared with SA, suggesting that deep insertion of acupuncture needles is necessary to achieve a clinical effect. (FMRI connectivity analysis of acupuncture effects on the whole brain network in mild cognitive impairment patients. Magn Reson Imaging. 2012 Jun;30(5):672-82).

US researchers have shown that acupressure treatment of subjects with mild traumatic brain injury (TBI) result in improvements to their cognitive function. A randomised, placebo-controlled trial assessed the effects of eight acupressure treatments over four weeks. Thirty-eight TBI patients were randomly assigned to either an experimental group that received active acupressure treatments from practitioners or a control group that received treatment from the same practitioners on non-acupressure points. Verum acupressure treatment was administered according to the principles of Jin Shin Do and targeted 26 points located all over the body. Comparing pre- to post-treatment change between groups, the results showed that patients treated with acupressure showed significantly greater improvements on standard tests of attention and working memory than subjects in the control group. (Acupressure as a non-pharmacological intervention for traumatic brain injury (TBI). J Neurotrauma. 2011 Jan;28(1):21-34).