Editor's Note
This study aimed to determine the efficacy and safety of integrated TCM (Wendan decoction [WDD]) in patients with acute brain injury as a combination therapy in the early stages. Patients diagnosed with acute brain injury were assigned to intervention and control groups, 41 out of the 60 who joined completed the study. All patients were treated by conventional neurologic intensive care. There was no mortality in the intervention group, but the rate was 39% in the control group for first month. Comparisons between groups showed significant differences ( p  < 0.05) in Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS), disability rating scale (DRS), modified Rankin scale (mRS), and Barthel index (BI) scores, indicating improvements in the intervention group after 6 months. The study concludes that, in the early stages of acute brain injury, combination treatment with WDD was found to be safe and this treatment may improve neurologic functional outcomes after six months.
Abstract

Objectives

Despite the remarkable advances in critical care management of acute brain injury for the past 20 years, the prognoses remain poor. However, numerous reports indicate the efficacy of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) therapy in stroke rehabilitation. This study aimed to determine the efficacy and safety of integrated TCM (Wendan decoction [WDD]) in patients with acute brain injury as a combination therapy in the early stages.

Design

Prospective randomized controlled trial.

Setting

Single-center study.

Subjects 

Sixty patients diagnosed with acute brain injury were randomly assigned to intervention and control groups, equally, and 41 patients completed the study.

Interventions

All patients were treated by conventional neurologic intensive care. The 23 patients in the intervention group were administered with an integrated WDD in the early stages three times daily; combination treatment was initiated within 14 days and lasted >1 month.

Outcome measures

Duration of ventilator use, intensive care unit stays, Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) scores, motor response, the best muscle power, disability rating scale (DRS) scores, modified Rankin scale (mRS) scores, and the mortality rate for the first month. The other outcome measures were GCS scores, motor response, the best muscle power, DRS, mRS, and Barthel index (BI) scores 6 months later.

Results

There was no mortality in the intervention group, but the rate was 39% in the control group for first month. Comparisons between groups showed significant differences ( p  < 0.05) in GCS, DRS, mRS, and BI scores, indicating improvements in the intervention group after 6 months.

Conclusions

In the early stages of acute brain injury, combination treatment with WDD was found to be safe. Furthermore, this treatment may improve neurologic functional outcomes after 6 months.

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