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Chinese Herbal Medicine Paratherapy for Parkinson's Disease: A Meta-Analysis of 19 Randomized Controlled Trials

Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Hindawi Limited
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1155/2012/534861
  • Review Article
  • Design
  • Medicine


Parkinson's disease (PD) is a common and debilitating neurodegenerative disorder that needs long-term levodopa administration and can result in progressive deterioration of body functions, daily activities and participation. The objective of this meta-analysis evaluates the clinical efficacy and safety of Chinese herbal medicine (CHM) as an adjunct therapy for PD patients. Methodological issues include a systematic literature search between 1950 and April 2011 to identify randomized trials involving CHM adjuvant therapy versus western conventional treatment. The outcome measures assessed were the reduction in scores of Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS) and adverse effects. 19 trials involving 1371 participants were included in the meta-analysis. As compared to western conventional treatment, CHM adjuvant therapy resulted in greater improvement in UPDRS I, II, III, IV scores, and UPDRS I–IV total scores (P < 0.001). Adverse effects were reported in 9 studies. The side effects in CHM adjuvant therapy group were generally less than or lighter than the conventional treatment group. In conclusion, CHM adjuvant therapy may potentially alleviate symptoms of PD and generally appeared to be safe and well tolerated by PD patients. However, well-designed, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trials are still needed due to the generally low methodological quality of the included studies.

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