Monday, 2 December 2013

Trigeminal neuralgia - Treatments in Traditional Chinese medicine perspective

Trigeminal neuralgia is defined as a condition of episodes of intense facial pain as a result of the affect of trigeminal nerve, containing 3 branches. The first (upper) branch includes the eye, eyebrow, and forehead. The second (middle) branch corresponds to the upper lip, upper teeth, upper gum, cheek, lower eyelid, and side of the nose. The third (lower) branch involves the lower lip, lower teeth, lower gum, and one side of the tongue. It also includes a narrow area that extends from the lower jaw in front of the ear to the side of the head(1). The pain is nearly always unilateral, and it may occur repeatedly throughout the day(2).
Treatment in traditional Chinese perspective
1. Siwei Shaoyao Decoction
Siwei Shaoyao Decoction possesses a marked effect on the alleviation of trigeminal neuralgia in rats caused by penicillin G potassium injection. As shown from the hot-plate test, it also has an obvious analgesic effect on mice. To some extent, the decoction has a significant anti-inflammatory effect on the acute edema in hind paws of rats and the effect is believed to be related to the reduction of capillary permeability, according to the study by Guiyang College of Traditional Chinese Medicine(45)

2. Sanchaning
In an experimental study and the comparision of the effect of Sanchaning with that of distilled water as well as carbamazepine, a common Western medicine for curing PTN, Sanchaning differed significantly from distilled water in treating PTN (P < 0.01), but slightly differed from that of carbamazepine (P < 0.05). The sequential trial has identified that Sanchaning could be used effectively to inhibit PTN and has the same effect as carbamazepine. But further study should be carried out to investigate the mechanism of its function in relieving PTN(46).

3. Yokukansan (Yi-Gan San)
According to the report of Juntendo University School of Medicine, the efficacy of Yokukansan in patients with neuropathic pain, including acute herpetic pain, postherpetic neuralgia, central poststroke pain, post-traumatic spinal cord injury pain, thalamic syndrome, complex regional pain syndrome and symptomatic trigeminal neuralgia. Yokukansan was more effective compared with traditional medicines, such as tricyclic antidepressants, carbamazepine, gabapentin, and opioids etc., which are recommended to treat neuropathic pain(47).

4. Etc.
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