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. doi: 10.5582/bst.2012.v6.4.212.


Many studies have indicated that a variety of neurotransmitters are implicated in the pathophysiology of Tourette syndrome (TS), including dopamine (DA), serotonin (5-TH), homovanillic acid (HVA), and gamma-amino butyric acid (GABA). Our previous studies found that Ningdong granule (NDG) is effective on a rat model with TS. NDG can regulate the metabolic disturbance of DA, 5-TH and HVA in the rat brain. However, the mechanisms of NDG in patients with TS are still not clear. To further evaluate the efficiency, safety, and possible mechanisms of NDG, a randomized and double-blind study was carried out. One hundred and twenty patients with TS were enrolled in this study, that were randomly divided into 4 groups (NDG group, Haloperidol (Hal) group, NDG + Hal group and Control group). First, the efficiency of NDG was assessed using the Yale Global Tic Severity Score (YGTSS). Second, the concentration of DA, HVA, 5-TH, 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid (5-HIAA) and GABA in sera were tested by ELISA. In addition, the influence of NDG on liver and renal function was recorded. We found that NDG could ameliorate tics significantly according the YGTSS score. The concentration of HVA and GABA were increased after treatment with NDG. Furthermore, we found that there was no liver or renal damage in children treated with NDG. We also found that the NDG + Hal group was more effective and safe compared with other groups. In conclusion, the current study indicates that NDG might be effective on patients with TS by regulating dopamine (DA)/serotonin (5-TH) and gamma-amino butyric acid (GABA).

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Dopamine / blood*
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal / adverse effects
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal / therapeutic use*
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Female
  • Homovanillic Acid / blood
  • Humans
  • Hydroxyindoleacetic Acid / blood
  • Kidney Function Tests
  • Liver Function Tests
  • Male
  • Serotonin / blood*
  • Tics / blood
  • Tics / complications
  • Tics / drug therapy
  • Tics / physiopathology
  • Tourette Syndrome / blood*
  • Tourette Syndrome / complications
  • Tourette Syndrome / drug therapy*
  • Tourette Syndrome / physiopathology
  • gamma-Aminobutyric Acid / blood*


  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal
  • ningdong
  • Serotonin
  • Hydroxyindoleacetic Acid
  • gamma-Aminobutyric Acid
  • Dopamine
  • Homovanillic Acid