Herbal medicines for Parkinson's disease: a systematic review of randomized controlled trials.
We conducted systematic review to evaluate current evidence of herbal medicines (HMs) for Parkinson's disease (PD).
Along with hand searches, relevant literatures were located from the electronic databases including CENTRAL, MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, AMED, PsycInfo, CNKI, 7 Korean Medical Databases and J-East until August, 2010 without language and publication status. Randomized controlled trials (RCTs), quasi-randomized controlled trials and randomized crossover trials, which evaluate HMs for idiopathic PD were selected for this review. Two independent authors extracted data from the relevant literatures and any disagreement was solved by discussion.
From the 3432 of relevant literatures, 64 were included. We failed to suggest overall estimates of treatment effects on PD because of the wide heterogeneity of used herbal recipes and study designs in the included studies. When compared with placebo, specific effects were not observed in favor of HMs definitely. Direct comparison with conventional drugs suggested that there was no evidence of better effect for HMs. Many studies compared combination therapy with single active drugs and combination therapy showed significant improvement in PD related outcomes and decrease in the dose of anti-Parkinson's drugs with low adverse events rate.
Currently, there is no conclusive evidence about the effectiveness and efficacy of HMs on PD. For establishing clinical evidence of HMs on PD, rigorous RCTs with sufficient statistical power should be promoted in future.