Jun 2011, Volume 5 Issue 2

  • Select all
    Jianxiang Liu, Zhu Chen
    Yonghua Yang
    Yiling Wu

    According to the self-discipline of traditional Chinese medicine, vessel-collateral theory was constructed systematically, which was important to improving prevention and treatment level of vasculopathy. The hypothesis of “homeostasis (Cheng), compensatory auto-adaptation (Zhi), regulation (Tiao) and equilibrium (Ping)” based on the “qi–yin-yang–five elements” coupled with the ying (nutrients)-wei (defense) theory, has become the core content of the vessel-collateral theory. Clinical and laboratory trials have been developed to further confirm the scientific connotations of the hypothesis, such as Tong Xin Luo capsule, as the representative drugs of vessel collateral theory, showed good efficacy in protecting the vascular endothelium, stabilizing the vulnerable plaque and reducing the blood vessel spasm. “Sou, ti, shu, tong” was the characteristics of Tong Xin Luo capsule in treating “microvascular damage” as the core mechanism of acute myocardial infarction, cerebral infarction and microvascular complications of diabetes. Shen Song Yang Xin capsules in the treatment of arrhythmia have made integrated adjustment advantage. Qi Li Qiang Xin capsules have been made treating both manifestation and root cause of chronic heart failure. These research have improved prevention and treatment level of major vascular system diseases.

    Jian Wang, Wen Zou

    Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) has become widely used in the treatment of acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) in China in recent years. In this article, we summarize the recent major developments in human immunodeficiency virus/AIDS (HIV/AIDS) treatment with TCM. The use of TCM is associated with preventing or alleviating HIV-related symptoms, reducing treatment side effects, and improving the quality of life. The potential beneficial effects of TCM should be confirmed through extensive and rigorous trials.

    Hongsheng Lin, Jie Liu, Ying Zhang

    Through the joint efforts of several generations of practitioners in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and integrated medicine of oncology, we have made some achievements in cancer treatment using TCM in over 50 years, including treatment concepts, methods, and basic and clinical research. Currently, TCM plays an indispensable role in cancer prevention and treatment. However, we also clearly recognize that there are some issues that have yet to be resolved. In the future, cancer treated with TCM will face unprecedented opportunities and challenges. This article reviews the developments of TCM in the treatment of cancer.

    Xianze Meng, Shifen Xu, Lixing Lao

    In recent years, acupuncture has rapidly become part of mainstream medicine in the West, where new developments in acupuncture clinical research show extensive progress in evaluating the efficacy and safety of the modality in many categories of disease, especially in pain conditions. Although challenges and difficulties remain, the acupuncture research community has matured and its past experience may lead to even better methods and more innovative research.

  • Review
    Jisheng Han, Cailian Cui, Liuzhen Wu

    Drug addiction is a chronic brain disorder characterized by withdrawal symptoms that occur during drug abstinence and a high tendency of relapse. Compared with the currently available pharmacological interventions, acupuncture therapy has the potential to help drug addicts stay away from drugs without major adverse side effects. It has taken decades of research to optimize the parameters of electrical acupoint stimulation for detoxification and for relapse prevention, as well as to establish a safe and easy procedure by which drug addicts can use it on themselves. The discovery that acupuncture can trigger the release of opioid substances from the brain in the 1970s provided the inspiration. Following this, basic research on animals made it possible to understand the mechanisms of action and establish the procedure for treating drug addictions. This article reviews the past, present, and foreseeable future regarding the use of acupuncture-related technique for the treatment of opiate addiction from the perspective of translational medicine.

    Peijing Rong, Bing Zhu, Yuqing Li, Xinyan Gao, Hui Ben, Yanhua Li, Liang Li, Wei He, Rupeng Liu, Lingling Yu

    Chinese ancient medical scientists have long focused on the internal and external contacts between acupoints on the surface of the body and the viscera. The Miraculous Pivot (it is one of the earliest medical classics in China) stated, “Twelve regular channels belong to the zang-fu organs internally, and connect to the extremities and joints externally.” Traditional Chinese medicine considers acupoints as defined areas where the Qi of viscera and meridians are transfused. These include the reaction points of visceral diseases on the body surface as well as the acupuncture trigger points that promote the flow of Qi and blood, and regulate visceral function. Chinese ancient medical scientists classified the specificity of the main acupoints in the body based on the meridian doctrine, which has been instructing clinical application for about 2000 years. Laws on the domino effect of acupoints have mainly focused on conclusions to clinical experiences. Indications of some acupoints exceed the practical paradigm since the excessive extension occurred during theory derivation. The current research direction on acupuncture focuses on three aspects: the effectiveness of acupuncture and moxibustion; the relevances and associations between meridians and viscera; and the physical and chemical properties and relevant physical basis of acupoints. The relevance between meridians and viscera is the central theory in the meridian doctrine, and acupoints are regarded as an important link in the relationship between meridians and viscera. Specific relationships between acupoints and target organs exist. Stimulating different acupoints on the body surface can help deal with different diseases, especially visceral diseases. In addition, acupoints have a dual function of reflecting and treating visceral diseases. There is no systemic research available on acupoint specificity, despite current knowledge and clinical experiences, which results in a weak foundation for acupuncture theory. This study focuses on the relevance and associations between meridians and viscera. A summary of the mechanisms of acupuncture regulating visceral sensation and mobility and the specific relationships between acupoints and their target organs are presented in this review.

    Sicheng Wang, He Yu, Jianping Liu, Baoyan Liu

    At present, clinical pathway has become one of the most important health care reform measures in many countries. In this study, the authors introduced basic concepts and explored the application of the clinical pathway of evidence-based Chinese medicine incorporated with the methodology from the concepts of management, evidence-based medicine, operational research and health economics. Such concepts provide examples and experiences, on which the application of clinical pathway in Chinese medicine practice in China can be based.

    Baoyan Liu, Yanhong Zhang, Jingqing Hu, Liyun He, Xuezhong Zhou

    The gradual development of Chinese medicine is based on constant accumulation and summary of experience in clinical practice, but without the benefit of undergoing the experimental medicine stage. Although Chinese medicine has formed a systematic and unique theory system through thousands of years, with the development of evidence-based medicine, the bondage of the research methods of experience medicine to Chinese medicine is appearing. The rapid transition and transformation from experience medicine to evidence-based medicine have become important content in the development of Chinese medicine. According to the features of Chinese medicine, we propose the research idea of “taking two ways simultaneously,” which is the study both in the ideal condition and in the real world. Analyzing and constructing the theoretical basis and methodology of clinical research in the real world, and building the stage for research technique is key to the effective clinical research of Chinese medicine. Only by gradually maturing and completing the clinical research methods of the real world could we realize “taking two ways simultaneously” and complementing each other, continuously produce scientific and reliable evidence of Chinese medicine, as well as transform and develop Chinese medicine from experience medicine to evidence-based medicine.

    Zhaoxiang Bian, Baoyan Liu, David Moher, Taixiang Wu, Youping Li, Hongcai Shang, Chungwah Cheng

    The reporting standards for randomized controlled trials were first published in 1996 by a group of scientists under the name “CONSORT,” which means consolidated standards of reporting trials. Revisions followed in 2001 and 2010. A draft of the CONSORT for traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) was published in both Chinese and English in 2007. After publication of the draft, comments were solicited from the medical community. Some papers did raise concerns about which items should be included in the CONSORT for TCM such as the rationale of the trial design, intervention, outcome assessment, and adverse events. We have now reached the next step which is the finalization of the CONSORT for TCM. Three tasks remain. First, the major changes in CONSORT statement 2010 should be integrated into the CONSORT for TCM. Second, Chinese drugs from minerals and animals should be included in the guidelines. Finally, agreement must be reached among the working groups. Once the draft is finalized, wide dissemination and co-publication will be considered.

    Shilin Chen, Li Xiang, Xu Guo, Qiushi Li

    In recent years, genomics has developed rapidly with the application of next-generation sequencing technology. However, very few studies have been carried out on genomics for medicinal plants. This paper introduces the genome research of medicinal plants, including genome sequencing, assembly, annotation, and functional genomics, to set up the foundation for the development of natural medicines and the selection of cultivars with good agricultural traits. This study places the study on traditional Chinese medicine into the frontier field of life science.

    Luqi Huang, Lanping Guo, Chaoyi Ma, Wei Gao, Qingjun Yuan

    Top-geoherbs used in China are always featured with high qualities, and they grow in specified areas with specific environment. Recently, researches on top-geoherbs have attracted increasing attention in China and other countries. In order to have a thorough knowledge of top-geoherbs, this article reviews the concept, historical evolution, common trait and quality characteristics of top-geoherbs, and explains the forming mechanism including genetic mechanism and environmental mechanism. In addition, it introduces the influence of human factors on the quality of top-geoherbs. Finally, it proposes some problems that should be paid attention to in the researches on top-geoherbs.

    Huimin Gao, Zhimin Wang, Yujuan Li, Zhongzhi Qian

    Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) has been widely used for the prevention and treatment of various diseases for a long time in China. Due to its proven efficacy, wide applications, and low side effect, TCM has increasingly attracted worldwide attention. However, one of the biggest challenges facing the clinical practice of TCM is the uncontrollable quality. In this review, the progress of the development and the current status of quality standard as well as new quality control techniques introduced in Chinese Pharmacopoeia (2010 edition), such as liquid chromatography hyphenated mass spectrometry (LC-MS), fingerprint, quantitative analysis of multi-components by single-marker (QAMS), thin layer chromatography bio-autographic assay (TLC-BAA), and DNA molecular marker technique, are briefly overviewed.

  • Review
    Jingqing Hu, Jie Qiao, Deying Kang, Baoyan Liu

    Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is one of the rarely existing ancient traditional medicines that hold systematic theories as well as preventative and therapeutic methods for diseases in practice. From the 1950s, such research methods as mathematics, statistics, and data mining (DM) have been gradually introduced to TCM studies, making it more scientific. Meanwhile, the distinct features of TCM theories and diagnostic-model have constantly challenged the methodology of statistics. This paper introduces the following scientific features of traditional Chinese therapeutics: 1) its goal is to balance the functions and conditions of human body; 2) it emphasizes on holism and individualization; 3) it stresses the longitudinal regulation and evaluation mode, which is a circle of syndrome diagnosis, treatment and evaluation; 4) the interventions of TCM are abundant, compound and natural; and 5) humanistic thought is everywhere. Some statistical problems are raised based on these features. First, complex statistical methods that can analyze subjective indexes and latent variables, multidimensional and multistage data, non-equilibrium designed studies, and longitudinal data are required. Second, comprehensive evaluation on multiple-target mechanism has been brought in by combination treatment. Third, there is a need to analyze how humanity and related cultural factors may influence the effect of interventions. Thus, promoting implemented studies of statistics as well as carrying out the TCM scientific propositions have become the common expectations of both TCM and modern medicine.

    Zhenji Li, Chunbo Xu

    Stressing the uniqueness and complexity of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) theory system, this paper analyzes the characteristics of TCM as a discipline from four perspectives: scientific nature, fundamental theory, clinical practice, and pharmacological action. It suggests that when the research strategy of TCM theory is designed, the core theory of TCM should be emphasized on the theoretical research on TCM original thinking theory, TCM theory, Chinese materia medica and formulas, acupuncture and moxibustion, meridians and collaterals, and other related fields. Researchers and practitioners should ensure that the basic research on TCM theory is based on clinical practice, research methods (both traditional and contemporary) are exploited, and methodological innovation is underscored. The rule of TCM development should be followed and the characteristics and advantages of TCM carried forward. Meanwhile, the methods and theory of contemporary science and technology should be exploited to fulfill the goal of inheriting, enriching, and developing the fundamental theory of TCM.

    Changhua Liu, Man Gu

    With the development of the knowledge economy, knowledge has become one of the most important resources for social progress and economic development. Some countries have proposed measures for the protection of their own traditional knowledge. Traditional Chinese medicine belongs to the category of intangible cultural heritage because it is an important part of Chinese cultural heritage. Today the value of traditional knowledge of Chinese medicine has been widely recognized by the domestic and international public. This paper discusses the definition of traditional knowledge of Chinese medicine and its protection, and evaluates research on its classification. We review the present status of the protection of traditional knowledge of Chinese medicine and tentatively put forward some possible ideas and methods for the protection of traditional knowledge of Chinese medicine. Our goal is to find a way to strengthen the vitality of traditional Chinese medicine and consolidate its foundation. We believe that if we could establish a suitable sui generis(BoldItalic is a Latin term meaning “of its own kind” and is often used in discussions about protecting the rights of indigenous peoples. Here we use it to emphasize the fact that protection of traditional knowledge of Chinese medicine cannot be achieved through existing legal means of protection alone due to its unique characteristics) system for traditional knowledge, a more favorable environment for the preservation and development of traditional Chinese medicine will ultimately be created.

  • Research Article
    Miao Jiang, Cheng Xiao, Gao Chen, Cheng Lu, Qinglin Zha, Xiaoping Yan, Weiping Kong, Shijie Xu, Dahong Ju, Pu Xu, Youwen Zou, Aiping Lu

    Clinical manifestations of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) are diversified, and based on the manifestations, the patients with RA could be classified into different patterns under traditional Chinese medicine. These patterns decide the selection of herbal prescription, and thus they can help find a subset of rheumatoid arthritis patients for a type of therapy. In the present study, we combine genome-wide expression analysis with methods of systems biology to identify the functional gene networks for the sets of clinical symptoms that comprise the major information for pattern classification. Clinical manifestations in rheumatoid arthritis were clustered with factor analysis, and two factors (similar to cold and hot patterns in traditional Chinese medicine) were found. Microarray technology was used to reveal gene expression profiles in CD4+ T cells from 21 rheumatoid arthritis patients. Protein-protein interaction information for these genes from databases and literature data was searched. The highly-connected regions were detected to infer significant complexes or pathways in this protein-protein interaction network. The significant pathways and function were extracted from these subnetworks using the Biological Network Gene Ontology tool. The genes significantly related to hot and cold patterns were identified by correlations analysis. MAPK signalling pathway, Wnt signaling pathway, and insulin signaling pathway were found to be related to hot pattern. Purine metabolism was related to both hot and cold patterns. Alanine, aspartate, and tyrosine metabolism were related to cold pattern, and histindine metabolism and lysine degradation were related to hot pattern. The results suggest that cold and hot patterns in traditional Chinese medicine were related to different pathways, and the network analysis might be used for identifying the pattern classification in other diseases.

    Liyun He, Tiancai Wen, Shiyan Yan, Runjin Li, Zufa Liu, Hui Ren, Jinmin Liu, Fengshan Zhang, Jianzhong Wu, Jian Liu

    We observed the effect of Dianxianning, which was used as additive treatment to treat 206 epilepsy patients, on the epilepsy seizure rate. Based on a multicenter, prospective, randomized, and controlled clinical trial design, we used the seizure rate of epilepsy as the main index. For the treatment group comprising 137 patients, we combined Dianxianning with chemical medicine, which is the basic treatment. For the control group with 69 patients, we added placebo. The results showed that 1) Effect on seizure rate: After a three-month treatment, the seizure rate of the treatment group decreased by 37.84% on average, whereas that of the control group decreased by 13.18% on average. Statistically comparing the two groups, there was a significant difference between these groups (P<0.05). 2) Effect on seizure frequency: As time passed, the frequency in each group gradually decreased. After a three-month treatment, there was a significant difference between the two groups (P<0.05). 3) Comparison between the before and after treatment of each group: There was a very significant difference between the two groups (P<0.0001). The results indicated that, as an additive treatment, Dianxianning has a good effect on controlling the epilepsy seizure rate and frequency management. It is more effective than using chemical medicine alone.