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Memory impairment related to spleen deficiency syndrome: evidence from fMRI study

Yi (意 or 憶) is the Shen of the spleen in TCM. From the perspective of psychology, Yi can be “translated” to concentration and short-term memory. Known to all, when patients suffers spleen deficiency (Qi or blood), they may have poor memory. I just read a great fundamental research on this topic which is published on a top journal European Journal of Integrative Medicine.

Researchers from Capital Medical University and Beijing University of Chinese Medicine reported recently that abnormal brain regions were mainly involved in memory function impairment in patients with spleen deficiency syndrome. They study enrolled 20 patients with spleen deficiency syndrome and 16 healthy subjects. Eighteen patients and 14 healthy controls underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) examination. The outcome indicated that compared with healthy subjects, patients with spleen deficiency syndrome revealed significantly lower scores of memory quotient, directed memory, associative memory and free recall of images, higher aptitude of low-frequency fluctuation (ALFF) values in bilateral temporal occipital fusiform cortices (TOC) and lateral occipital cortices(LOC), and lower ALFF values in left frontal pole cortex (FPC). Moreover, scores of clinical memory scale were significantly correlated with ALFF values in bilateral TOCs and LOCs, and left FPC.


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