Traditional Chinese Medicine
Progressive loss of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) and their axons is the main pathogenesis of glaucoma. The cause of glaucoma is not fully understood, but the neurodegeneration of glaucoma involves many mechanisms such as oxidative stress, glutamate toxicity and ischemia/reperfusion insult. In order to target these mechanisms, multiple neuroprotective interventions have been investigated to prevent the death of RGCs. Of note are some tonic herbs from the traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) pharmacopeia that have shown neuroprotective effects in glaucoma. TCM differs from Western medicine in that TCM exhibits complicated bioactive components, triggering many signaling pathways and extensive actions on vital organs. Modern scientific approaches have demonstrated some of their underlying mechanisms. In this review, we used Lycium barbarum and Ginkgo biloba as examples to elaborate the characteristics of TCM and their potential applications in neuroprotection in glaucoma.
BACKGROUND: Chinese and contemporary Western medical practices evolved on different cultures and historical contexts and, therefore, their medical knowledge represents this cultural divergence. Computerization of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is being used to promote the integrative medicine to manage, process and integrate the knowledge related to TCM anatomy, physiology, semiology, pathophysiology, and therapy. METHODS: We proposed the development of the SuiteTCM software, a collection of integrated computational models mainly derived from epidemiology and statistical sciences for computerization of Chinese medicine scientific research and clinical practice in all levels of prevention. The software includes components for data management (DataTCM), simulation of cases (SimTCM), analyses and validation of datasets (SciTCM), clinical examination and pattern differentiation (DiagTCM, TongueTCM, and PulseTCM), intervention selection (AcuTCM, HerbsTCM, and DietTCM), management of medical records (ProntTCM), epidemiologic investigation of sampled data (ResearchTCM), and medical education, training, and assessment (StudentTCM). DISCUSSION: The SuiteTCM project is expected to contribute to the ongoing development of integrative medicine and the applicability of TCM in worldwide scientific research and health care. The SuiteTCM 1.0 runs on Windows XP or later and is freely available for download as an executable application.
Objective: To explore microcosmic information in chronic gastritis dampness syndrome by using serum proteomics of patients with chronic gastritis dampness syndrome.Methods: Serum proteomics of 18 dampness syndrome cases, 17 non-dampness syndrome cases in chronic gastritis patients and 8 normal controls were analyzed by surface enhanced laser desorption/ionization-time of flight (SELDI-TOF) protein-chip. Results: There was a high expression trend in three ratios of charge (of an electron) to mass (M/S) of 3.2 kD, 6.4 kD and 8.1 kD of protein expression spectrum from patients with chronic gastritis dampness syndrome, and the wave peak value was over 10 units. There was a low expression trend in above-mentioned sites of protein expression spectrum from patients with chronic gastritis non-dampness syndrome and normal group. The wave peak value of patients with chronic gastritis non-dampness syndrome was about or below 10 units, and the wave peak value in normal group was below 5 units. Conclusion: There exists a certain significance to explore biologic theory basis of chronic gastritis dampness syndrome by analyzing the serum proteomics.
Objective: The research is aimed at investigating the developing rule and the relationship between syndrome differentiation in traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and clinical factors of gastric cancer so as to guide clinical work and indicate prognosis.Methods: We collected the medical records and the information of four diagnostic methods of 325 cases of gastric cancer sufferers in the way of clinical epidemiological survey, and divided them into 6 syndromes including dysfunction of spleen, disharmony of liver and stomach, blood stagnation in stomach, yin deficiency of stomach, phlegm dampness stagnation and deficiency of both qi and blood. Then we used logistic regression analysis to analyze the relationship between syndrome differentiation and clinical-related factors such as age, gender, Karnofsky score and clinical stage, etc.Results: The syndrome spleen dysfunction is a dominant one among the syndromes of stomach cancer. Disharmony of liver and stomach always happens in early stage of stomach cancer and is frequently seen in women. Patients with syndrome of phlegm dampness stagnation or deficiency of both qi and blood have lower Karnofsky score and poorer living quality. Syndromes of blood stagnation in stomach and yin deficiency of stomach show no relationship with the clinical factors in this research.Conclusion: >Syndrome differentiation in TCM of gastric cancer is related to some clinical factors to a certain extent.
Objective: To investigate the relationship between visceral syndrome differentiation in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and the changes of nutrition status or blood gas analysis in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).Methods: Sixty patients with COPD in stable phase were divided into dysfunction of lung (DL, n=20) group, dysfunction of lung and spleen (DLS, n=16) group and dysfunction of lung, spleen and kidney (DLSK, n=24) group according to syndrome differentiation of TCM. Moreover, the basic electric rhythm, percentage of bradygastria in electrogastrogram (EGG), ratio of actual body weight (ABW) to ideal body weight (IBW) and serum albumin level were determined to evaluate the nutrition status of the patients with COPD. Blood gas analysis was made too.Results: The basic electric rhythm values in the DL, DLS and DLSK groups were (56.20±13.24)%, (47.38±10.24)% and (41.35±10.01)%, respectively. Compared with the DL group, the basic electric rhythm values in the DLS and DLSK groups decreased obviously (P＜0.05). The percentages of bradygastria in the DL, DLS and DLSK groups were (45.18±18.13)%, (46.31±15.83)% and (49.90±17.54)%, respectively, and there were no differences among the three groups (P＞0.05). The incidence rates of ABW/IBW＜90% in the DL, DLS and DLSK groups were 50%, 75% and 54.17%, respectively, and there were no differences among the three groups (P＞0.05). The incidence rates of serum albumin less than 35 g/L were 20%, 37.5% and 54.17%, respectively, and there were no differences among the three groups (P>0.05). PO2 in the DLS group [(63.56±15.06) mmHg] and DLSK group [(63.17±19.05) mmHg] were decreased as compared with the DL group [(78.15±16.63) mmHg] (P＜0.05). PCO2 in the DL, DLS and DLSK groups were (42.25±12.46) mmHg, (48.60±17.60) mmHg and (49.97±13.43) mmHg respectively, and there were no differences among the three groups (P＞0.05).Conclusion: Several dysfunction organs described in TCM were involved in COPD followed by the increased severity, hypoxemia and PCO2. Dysfunction of gastrointestinal tract and malnourishment took place accordingly.
Objective: A method based on dubious condition of information entropy was introduced and applied to discuss a complexity problem in the analysis of correlation between traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) syndrome and season.Methods: Eight hundred and seventy one cases of chronic virus hepatitis B (hepatitis B) with TCM clinical data were analyzed by information entropy method.Results: It was found that hepatitis B with Yin deficiency of liver and kidney happened more often in summer than in other seasons.Conclusion: It is inferred that the difference of seasons may influence the variation of TCM syndromes.
Traditional Chinese medicine is one of the component parts of the international health care system. It has been an inevitable trend to merge traditional Chinese medicine into systemic medicine. Along with the emergence of the concept of systemic disease, the wide dissemination of evidence-based medicine and the establishment of thought pattern of systemic medicine, the exploration emphasis of modern medical science has been transferred from microcosmic or solid structure to macrocosmic unit and system relation. The mainstream development of modern medical science is to integrate different medical systems into a complete system. Therefore, the integration of traditional Chinese medicine and Western medicine is also necessary under this condition.
The treatment of tradit ional Chinese medicine ( TCM) has been proved effective in clinical practice for thousands of years. To standardize the clinical protocols of TCM is absolutely necessary for enhancing the research quality of TCM and expanding the international influence of TCM. The standardization research on clinical protocols of TCM should be based on the basic theory of TCM and in the light of good clinical practice (GCP) principles. The clinical criteria for both diagnosis and efficacy evaluation of disease are also needed. To include all symptoms, tongue manifestations and pulse presentations into case report form, and to compare the differences in these clinical parameters between effective and non-effective cases by multivariate analysis may be helpful to find more specific indications for therapeutic protocol of TCM. Furthermore, It is suggested that two or more clinical trials on one therapeutic protocol are needed to identify its accurate indications.
Objective: To establish Caco-2 (a human colon adenocarcinoma cell line) cell monolayer model and the standard operation procedure for studying and assessing intestinal absorption of chemical components of traditional Chinese medicine.Methods: Caco-2 cell monolayer model was established and evaluated by morphology feature using scanning electron microscope, inverted microscope and transepithelial electrical resistance (TEER) assay. Additionally, the model was further tested for the activity of alkaline phosphatase and the apparent permeability (Papp) of standard compounds, i.e. propranolol and atenolol, which were the control substances for high and poor transcellular transport marker, respectively.Results: The integrality of cell monolayer, cell differentiation (reflected by expression of alkaline phosphatase and cell monolayer morphology), and the Papp value of standard compounds in the established Caco-2 cell model were satisfactory. All parameters tested were in good agreement with those reported in the literature.Conclusion: The established Caco-2 cell model can be used to study the intestinal absorption of orally administrated chemical components of traditional Chinese medicine and their absorption mechanism.
：Objective: To investigate the relationship between syndrome differentiation of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and characteristic changes of vascular endothelial function in patients with diabetic arterial occlusion (DAO) of lower extremities.Methods: Forty patients with DAO were selected as trial group. Twenty patients among them were attributed to blood stasis syndrome (group A1), and the others were attributed to syndrome of pathogenic dampness-heat attacking the lower limb (group A2) according to syndrome differentiation type of TCM. Patients with diabetes (group B), arteriosclerosis obliterans (group C) and healthy people (group D) were observed as the control groups, respectively. There were 20 cases in each group. Endothelium-dependent dilation (EDD) and endothelium-independent dilation (EID) were measured by high resolution ultrasound in the 100 subjects and the changes of vascular tension factors were also studied. Results: The results showed that EDD in group A was reduced significantly as compared with that in the groups B, C and D. The levels of vascular contractile factors such as endothelin-1 (ET-1) and thromboxane B2 (TXB2) in group A were higher than those in the groups B, C and D, while the levels of vascular dilatory factors such as nitric oxide (NO) and 6-keto-prostaglandin F1α (6-Keto-PGF1α) were declined significantly as compared with those in the groups B and D. Linear correlation analysis showed that EDD was correlated positively with the levels of NO and 6-Keto-PGF1α, while the levels of ET-1 and TXB2 had negative correlation with EDD. EDD and EID in group A2 were declined significantly as compared with those in group A1.Conclusion: Our findings indicate that endothelial dysfunction may play an important role in the pathogenesis of DAO and may be associated with syndrome differentiation of TCM.
The field of gene therapy has been increasingly studied in the last four decades, and its clinical application has become a reality in the last 15 years. Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), an important component of complementary and alternative medicine, has evolved over thousands of years with its own unique system of theories, diagnostics and therapies. TCM is well-known for its various roles in preventing and treating infectious and chronic diseases, and its usage in other modern clinical practice. However, whether TCM can be applied alongside gene therapy is a topic that has not been systematically examined. Here we provide an overview of TCM theories in relation to gene therapy. We believe that TCM theories are congruent with some principles of gene therapy. TCM-derived drugs may also act as gene therapy vehicles, therapeutic genes, synergistic therapeutic treatments, and as co-administrated drugs to reduce side effects. We also discuss in this review some possible approaches to combine TCM and gene therapy.
The central nervous system (CNS) plays a key regulatory role in glucose homeostasis. In particular, the brain is important in initiating and coordinating protective counterregulatory responses when blood glucose levels fall. This may due to the metabolic dependency of the CNS on glucose, and protection of food supply to the brain. In healthy subjects, blood glucose is normally maintained within a relatively narrow range. Hypoglycemia in diabetic patients can increase the risk of complications, such as heart disease and diabetic peripheral neuropathy. The clinical research finds that the use of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) has a positive effect on the treatment of hypoglycemia. Here the authors reviewed the current understanding of sensing and counterregulatory responses to hypoglycemia, and discuss combining traditional Chinese and Western medicine and the theory of iatrogenic hypoglycemia in diabetes treatment. Furthermore, the authors clarify the feasibility of treating hypoglycemia on the basis of TCM theory and CNS and have an insight on its clinical practice.
Objective: To investigate the characteristics of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) syndromes and their elements in people with subhealth fatigue.Methods: The TCM symptoms in line with the diagnostic criteria of subhealth fatigue status were collected by clinical investigations and using information collection form based on TCM four diagnostic methods. Referred to Clinical Guidelines of Chinese Medicine on Subhealth and other related standards, the syndrome type was identified in accordance with clinical symptoms of each patient with subhealth fatigue by two physicians. The data of syndrome differentiation were analyzed by descriptive statistical analysis.Results: There were 81 syndrome types from 495 cases of subhealth fatigue. There were 24 syndrome types after separation, and the top ten were liver stagnation and spleen deficiency, stagnation of liver qi, hyperactivity of liver fire, disharmony between liver and stomach, damp obstruction due to spleen deficiency, deficiency of both heart and spleen, yin deficiency of liver and kidney, yang deficiency of spleen and kidney, stagnation of gallbladder and disturbance of phlegm, and internal disturbance of phlegm-heat. There were 17 syndrome elements, including seven disease location elements and ten disease nature elements. The disease location elements were liver, spleen, kidney, stomach, heart, gallbladder and lung. The disease nature elements were qi stagnation, qi deficiency, exuberance of fire (heat), damp obstruction, phlegm obstruction, yin deficiency, adverse flow of qi, yang deficiency, blood deficiency, and blood stasis.Conclusion: Syndrome types of subhealth fatigue involve in deficiency syndrome, excess syndrome, and mixture of deficiency and excess syndromes. The syndrome elements of disease location involve five zang organs and two fu organs, and the liver and spleen were the most frequently involved organs. The syndrome elements of disease nature involve deficiency and excess. Qi stagnation is most frequently involved in the excess syndrome, and qi deficiency is most frequently involved in the deficiency syndrome.
Objective: Traditional Chinese medicine stagnation syndrome is a prevalent syndrome characterized by mind-body obsession-like symptoms. To standardize the evaluation of this syndrome, previous studies have developed and validated a 3-factor, 16-item Stagnation Scale with good psychometric properties. The current study aimed to survey stagnation syndrome among adults in community. Methods: A cross-sectional questionnaire survey was conducted among 755 adults recruited by cluster sampling in Hong Kong. Results: Using self-appraisal of symptom severity as reference, receiver operating characteristics (ROC) analysis suggested an optimized cut-off point of 50 on the Stagnation Scale, with false positive and negative rates at 25.8% and 23.3%, respectively. Prevalence of stagnation syndrome was revealed at 6.2%. It is more prevalent in women, with a male to female ratio of 1∶2.8 (P=0.02). Stagnation showed significant negative correlation with age (r=–0.22, P<0.01). It showed non-significant correlation with marital status and education level. Among people with stagnation syndrome, 30.4% showed substantial intention to seek treatment (male: 25.0%; female: 32.4%). Conclusion: Stagnation syndrome seems to be prevalent among adults and shows a fairly high rate of motivation for people to seek treatment. The construct can be a useful entry point for healthcare interventions and warrants further in-depth studies. Limitations of using a structured questionnaire for epidemiological studies and corresponding remedies are discussed.
There lack scientific methods for evaluating the treatment of cancer pain with external therapies of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). The level of clinical study in this field needs to be improved. The authors assert that when external therapies of TCM are applied to treat cancer pain, different types of cancer pain should be distinguished and treatment should be applied according to such a differentiation. Under this framework scientific evaluation can be conducted. The authors also assert that the findings of randomized, blinded and controlled trials should be given particular attention, and it is necessary to include titration of morphine into clinical trails of external therapies for the treatment of cancer pain, not only complying with the three-ladder principle for treating cancer pain suggested by the World Health Organization, but also not influencing the effect evaluation of external therapies of TCM on cancer pain. Patient diaries recording pain were revised as observation indexes. The primary indicator of efficacy was the pain intensity score and the secondary indicators were the equivalent of morphine and the remission rate of pain. The time to onset, remission duration and comparison of assessment of pain influence can mirror the characteristics of external therapies of TCM on cancer pain.
Objective: This study explores the applicability of a multi-attribute decision-making method in assessing Guizhi Decoction (GZD) and its varieties as noted in the Shanghanlun.Methods: A known multi-attribute decision-making method, the analytic hierarchy process (AHP), was adopted to transform the clinical challenge of selecting optional decoction for a given combination of symptoms or signs into multiple criteria decision-making problem.Results: A normative model based on the AHP was realized for indications of GZD and its varieties. The indications of sub-family GZD-f (indications of GZD itself) were exterior illness; the indications of GZD-vf1 (indications of GZD’s variants which consist of fine adjustments to the ingredients or content on the basis of GZD) were exterior illness with interior excess, suggesting that GZD-vf1 consisted of most conservative variants of GZD; the indications of both GZD-vf2 (indications of Guizhi Qu Shaoyao Decoction and its derivative variants) and GZD-vf3 (indications of Guizhi Gancao Decoction and its derivative variants) showed evolution from exterior illness to interior deficiency in 2 directions. As to efficacy evaluation of the decoction, GZD and its varieties (restricted to those comparable ones) were of equal efficacy on 3 popular signs or symptoms indicating exterior illness: floating pulse, aversion to wind and spontaneous sweating, which were the common ground of indications for the GZD family.Conclusion: Modeling of diagnostic procedure based on the AHP is proved practicable to analyze the clinical judgment system of traditional Chinese medicine. Quantification research on syndrome differentiation and decoction evaluation system focused on signs and symptoms is suggested as a feasible and reliable model.
Breast cancer is called ''Ruyan'' in literature of traditional Chinese medicine. We synthesized the ancient and contemporary discussions and raised the theory that ''Duxie'' (poisonous pathogenic factor) is the etiological factor and pathologic product through the whole course of breast cancer. ''Liuyin Fudu'' (latent poison of six exogenous pathogenic factors) and ''Qiqing Yudu'' (stagnant poison of seven emotions) are the main etiological factors affecting the breast cancer occurrence. ''Aidu Neisheng'' (internal product of cancer poison) is the essential change in breast cancer occurrence. ''Tandu Yujie'' (stagnation of phlegm, poison and blood stasis) is the essential pathogenesis of the breast cancer's development. ''Yudu Weiqing'' (vestigial poison) is the main pathogenesis of breast cancer after operation. ''Yudu Pangcuan'' (vestigial poison invasion elsewhere) is the key pathogenesis of recurrence and metastasis after operation. ''Sanjie Jiedu'' (dispersing accumulation and detoxification) is an important therapeutic principle in breast cancer's treatment after operation. The ''Tandu-Yujie'' pathogenesis theory and ''Sanjie Jiedu'' therapeutic principle developed the theory about breast cancer in traditional Chinese medicine, and have some clinical application value.
This paper proposes a new idea of the theory of Ju (aggregation) syndrome complex based on succeeding to traditional Chinese medicine. It presumes that the etiological factors of Ju are both heritage deficiency and postnatal viscerae damage, which cause the disturbance of qi-transformation, and thus, the evil heat, turbid damp and stagnated blood take the chance of retention in the body, to block up the production and distribution of the essence and energy. Ju is a mixed symptom complex of asthenia and sthenia, and should be simultaneously applied to purging-tonifying therapy and aggregation-dissipating method. Under the guidance of Ju theory, patients with metabolic syndrome were treated with Chinese medicine. The symptoms were relieved, and the insulin resistance, hyperglycemia, hyperlipidemia, body weight, waist circumference, and the inflammatory cytokines were improved, which confirmed the theoretical significance of the practical value of Ju theory.
Objective: To observe hypoglycemic effects of Yunu Decoction, Zuogui Pill and Shenqi Pill, three compound traditional Chinese herbal medicines, in treatment of diabetes mellitus induced by alloxan in rats, and to compare the therapeutic effects among the three recipes for nourishing yin, clearing away heat, and nourishing yin and warming yang.Methods: Diabetes mellitus was induced in rats with alloxan at a dose of 60 mg/kg via tail vain injection. The diabetic rats were randomly divided into four groups: alloxan model group, Yunu Decoction-treated group, Zuogui Pill-treated group and Shenqi Pill-treated group. Rats in the three recipe groups were administered intragastrically with water extraction of Yunu Decoction, Zuogui Pill, and Shenqi Pill accordingly for 10 days. Then the level of blood glucose was measured by glucose oxidase method and the glucose tolerance was determined.Results: Compared with the normal rats, blood glucose level in the alloxan model group was obviously increased (P<0.05). Glucose levels in the three recipe groups were obviously decreased as compared with the alloxan model group (P<0.05), and glucose level in the Yunu Decoction-treated group after treatment was significant lower than before treatment (P<0.05). The glucose tolerance test indicated that rats in the alloxan model and three recipe groups revealed impaired glucose tolerance as compared with the normal rats, and there were no significant differences between the alloxan model group and the three recipe groups.Conclusion: Yunu Decoction, Zuogui Pill and Shenqi Pill can effectively decrease the glucose level of the rats with diabetes mellitus induced by alloxan, and Yunu Decoction showed the best therapeutic effects. The glucose tolerance test shows that the three recipes cannot correct the abnormal metabolism of glucose.
This paper is devoted to discussing two research patterns of biological basis of traditional Chinese medicine syndrome and presenting a research strategy for data mining methods. It points out that data mining methods which are based on feature selection are better fit for investigating biological basis of traditional Chinese medicine syndrome. Based on such a discussion, the concept of “characteristic pattern” is proposed to bridge the gap between “golden index” and biological basis of traditional Chinese medicine syndrome. This paper presents a novel research avenue for investigating biological basis of traditional Chinese medicine syndrome.
In this paper, factors contributing to the formation of pulse wave were analyzed based on hemodynamic principles. It is considered that formation of pulse wave was related to its propagation and reflection characteristics. Propagation of the pulse wave was characterized by pulse wave velocity, and reflection of the pulse wave was characterized by reflection coefficient. Pulse wave velocity and reflection coefficient were proposed as the eigenvectors of pulse wave in pulse diagnosis of traditional Chinese medicine, and support vector machine (SVM) was used to recognize slippery pulse, stringy pulse and plain pulse. Pulse wave velocity and reflection coefficient of the slippery, stringy and plain pulses in healthy people were calculated in this study, and SVM with Gaussian radial basis function was used for classifying. Results showed that pulse wave velocity and reflection coefficient with physiological and pathological significance had advantages in distinguishing slippery pulse, stringy pulse and plain pulse, which offered a new idea for recognizing pulse condition.
Objective: To provide more objective basis for traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) syndrome differentiation of deficiency and excess by collecting and analyzing voice signals and extracting characteristic parameters.Methods: All of 308 samples including 150 samples of qi-deficiency, 52 yin-deficiency, 55 excess and 51 normal were collected by “Voice Collecting System of TCM” and analyzed by wavelet packet transform (WPT) combined with approximate entropy (ApEn). The characteristic parameters with remarkable differences were chosen as input vectors for support vector machine (SVM) classifier to obtain classification results.Results: Comparison between the normal and non-healthy showed that ApEn values of several nodes in 2 to 3 kHz, 3.5 to 4 kHz and 5 to 8 kHz frequencies were significantly different (P≤0.05); comparison between the deficiency and excess showed that ApEn values of several nodes in 0 to 2.5 kHz and 6 to 6.5 kHz frequencies were significantly different (P≤0.05); comparison between the qi-deficiency and yin-deficiency showed that ApEn values of node in 2 to 4 kHz frequency were significantly different(P≤0.05). The outputs of SVM showed that accuracies of samples in each group had good classification results by analyzing the ApEn values in different frequencies through WPT.Conclusion: The methods of voice collection and analysis used in the auscultation of TCM can provide objective basis for syndrome differentiation of deficiency and excess.
Objective: To explore and identify the therapeutic components of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) as a complex intervention through grounded theory, and the correlation and interaction within this model and the possible effects that they may have on the therapeutic effects of TCM.Methods: Data were collected through 41 half-day participant observations and 7 in-depth interviews, and the study design and data analysis were based on the grounded theory.Results: The components of TCM practice that emerged were: prescribed Chinese medicinal herbs, doctor’s medical advice, psychological intervention, doctor-patient relationship, and patient adherence. There were some overlaps in the TCM diagnosis and treatment process, and there were underlying therapeutic effects associated with diagnosis. TCM herbal intervention was considered as a main therapeutic component which might dominate patients’ outcome. We summarized this process as a process of problem finding and solving from macroscopic and microcosmic perspectives, which embodies the concept of a holistic approach and highly individualized pattern through syndrome differentiation and treatment.Conclusion: TCM is a complex whole system, and all therapeutic components of TCM may contribute to global treatment effect. In the future, we need more participants to test and improve the model of grounded theory through qualitative and quantitative methods such as randomized controlled trials so as to identify and explore the relevance of each therapeutic component of TCM with the treatment effect.
Study of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) syndromes is a key to the research of TCM modernization, and the core is the classification and diagnostic criteria of syndromes. The purpose of this article is to review the usage of classification algorithms of data mining in TCM syndrome researches, and comprehensively analyze the main features of algorithms and their applications. The appropriate classification algorithm should be chosen according to different research purposes. Rough sets and cluster analysis are suitable for exploratory research without requiring a prior knowledge. Fuzzy sets theory, neural networks and decision tree are suitable for syndrome diagnostic criteria research when the classification goal is clear, because they require a prior knowledge. Among them, fuzzy sets theory could be used in combination with other classification algorithms. Thus, some new methods such as fuzzy clustering, fuzzy rough sets or fuzzy decision tree might be more suitable for TCM algorithm classification research. It is suggested that some novel classification algorithms need to be developed to fit the condition of TCM syndrome, based on the interdisciplinary theories and technologies.
Objective: To study the mechanism of herbal application along meridians for treatment and prevention of asthma by using serum pharmacological test to observe the effects of serum containing herbs against the constriction of tracheal spiral strips induced by acetylcholine chloride (Ach).Methods: Guinea pigs were randomly divided into normal control group, normal saline (NS) application group, aminophylline application group, aminophylline injection group, 1-day herb application group, 7-day herb application group and 14-day herb application group. Asthma was induced by Hutson's method in guinea pigs except the normal control group. Guinea pigs in herb application groups were treated by external application of a compound herbal medicine 60 min once every day. Guinea pigs in NS application group were treated by external application of NS. Guinea pigs in the two aminophylline-treated groups were treated by external application and intraperitoneal injection of aminophylline at a dose of 400 mg/kg, respectively. The guinea pigs were killed and the sera were obtained after 1-day, 7-day and 14-day treatment in the three herb application groups, 7-day treatment in the NS application group, the aminophylline application and injection groups, respectively. Serum pharmacological method was used to do the experiment, the effects of different sera on the constriction of tracheal strips were observed, and the constriction rates were calculated.Result: The serum containing herbs had an effect in reducing the constriction of tracheal spiral strips induced by Ach, and the effect was similar to that of the serum obtained from the aminophylline injection group. The constriction rate of the tracheal spiral strips was decreased when herbal application treatment was prolonged within a period of time, and it became stable when herbal application treatment was between 7-14 days. The constriction of tracheal spiral strips induced by Ach could be reduced remarkably when it was previously treated by serum containing herbs. Conclusion: The anti-acetylcholine function with a time-dependent effect is one of the mechanisms of herbal application treatment along meridians for asthma, and furthermore, herbal application treatment along meridians might be useful for preventing asthma.