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Herbal formula reduces Tourette’s tics

A Chinese herbal formula, ‘Ningdong granules’ (NDG), has been shown to reduce tics in children with Tourette’s syndrome. The formula, which contains the herbs Tian Ma (Rhizoma Gastrodiae), Dang Shen (Radix Codonopsis), Mai Men Dong (Radix Ophiopogonis) Bai Shao (Radix Paeoniae alba), Long Gu (Fossilia Ossis Mastodi), Mu Li (Concha Ostreae), Di Long (Pheretima) and Gan Cao (Radix Glycyrrhizae) has previously been used in China the treatment of children with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in China. In a randomised, double-blind study 120 paediatric Tourette’s patients were randomly divided into four groups. One group received NDG, another received usual drug treatment, consisting of the antipsychotic medication haloperidol (Hal), the third group received NDG plus haloperidol and the control group received no treatment. The results showed that NDG significantly ameliorated children’s tic scores. In addition, concentrations of inhibitory neurotransmitters, including gamma-amino butyric acid (GABA), were found to increase after treatment with NDG. NDG + Hal was found to be the most effective combination of all the groups. (Effects of Chinese herbal medicine Ningdong granule on regulating dopamine (DA)/serotonin (5-TH) and gamma-amino butyric acid (GABA) in patients with Tourette syndrome. Biosci Trends. 2012 Aug;6(4):212-8).