Albert Y. Leung, MD


I have several areas of research interests: 1) To establish an acute pain model to study dynamic response of human brain to noxious stimuli in both health subjects and patients in chronic neuropathic pain states; 2) To study the dynamic response of human brain to either pharmacological or non-pharmacological interventions for pain; and 3) To explore and establish new means of palliative treatment for cancer pain and cancer-related symptoms. I have successfully completed a pilot study and acquired a K08 Grant from the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine to study the neuronal mechanism of acupuncture analgesia by utilizing peripheral quantitative neurosensory testing and functional magnetic resonance imaging (FMRI). The main goals of the current project are: 1) to quantitatively establish the peripheral sensory modality specific effect of acupuncture by using peripheral thermal neurosensory testing and behavioral measurement; 2) to establish central nervous system response to noxious thermal sensory stimulation with individually predetermined noxious thermal heat threshold by using fMRI and behavioral feedback monitoring; 3) to establish the central nervous system response to acupuncture by using fMRI and active behavioral feedback monitoring; and 4) to assess the corresponding effect of acupuncture on the perception of noxious peripheral thermal stimulation by using fMRI and active behavioral feedback monitoring.  5) To assess how variation in acupuncture needle positions and the duration of stimulation may alter the peripheral and central nervous systems response.

Publications (Selected From 18 Publications)

Leung AY, Kim SJ, Schulteis G, Yaksh T.The effect of acupuncture duration on analgesia and peripheral sensory thresholds. BMC Complement Altern Med. 8:18. 2008. 

Leung AY, Park J, Schulteis G, Duann JR, Yaksh T. The electrophysiology of de qi sensations. J Altern Complement Med. 12:743-50, 2006. 

Leung AY, Wallace MS, Schulteis G, Yaksh TL. Qualitative and quantitative characterization of the thermal grill. Pain.;116:26-32, 2005

Leung AY: Acupuncture-A Therapeutic Tool in Pain and Palliative Medicine, Book Chapter in Just the Fact, edited by Peter Staats and Mark Wallace,  2005.

Leung AY: The effect of acupuncture on the quality of life in chronic pain patients-A Prospective Outcome Measure, Medical Acupuncture 14(2):34-36, 2003.

Leung AY: Duann JR, Jung TP, Lam V, Liu, T, Buxton, R, Wallace, MS, TL Yaksh: The effect of acupuncture on peripheral neurosensory thermal threshold and the central nervous system, NeuroImage 19: 1487, 2003.

Wallace MS, Ridgeway BM, Leung AY, Geralyi A, Yaksh TL: Concentration-effect relationship for intravenous alfentanil and ketamine infusions in human volunteers: Effect upon sensory thresholds and capsaicin-evoked hyperpathia, Journal of Clinical Pharmacology 42:70-80,2002.

Leung AY, Wallace M, Ridgeway B, Yaksh T: Concentration-effect relationship of intravenous alfentanil and ketamine on peripheral neurosensory thresholds, allodynia and hyperalgesia of neuropathic pain, Pain 91: 177-187, 2001.