Efficacy and safety of SQJZ herbal mixtures on nonmotor symptoms in Parkinson disease patients: Protocol for a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial

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Background:As a multisystemic neurodegenerative disorder, Parkinson disease (PD) has a broad spectrum of symptoms including motor and nonmotor symptoms (NMS). As shown in studies, NMS can also impact patient's quality of life, and many of them often go untreated. Chinese herbal medicines with multiconstituent may alleviate NMS in PD patients. This research is carried out to assess the efficacy and safety of a Chinese herbal formula for NMS, with its Chinese name acronym of SQJZ.Methods/design:It will be a multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Idiopathic PD with a Hoehn and Yahr scale score ≤4, aged 18 to 80 years, will be involved. About 240 patients will be randomly assigned to either SQJZ or placebo in a 2:1 ratio. There is a 2-week run-in period before the randomization, and the follow-up will be 24 weeks, including 12-week treatment period, with visit once every 4 weeks and 12-week washout follow-up. All participants are asked to maintain the regular medication schedule. SQJZ formula will consist of Chinese herbs with effects for insomnia, constipation, anxiety, and so on. The primary outcome will be measured using NMS scale, and secondary outcomes will include unified PD rating scale, PD sleep scale, the Parkinson fatigue scale, the constipation severity instrument, and PD Questionnaire-39. The primary efficacy analysis will be based on the intention-to-treat method, and mixed-model repeated-measures analyses will be used.Discussion:The findings from this research might provide evidence of the efficacy and safety of SQJZ Chinese herbal formula for treating NMS in PD patients. The results will sustain the broader use of SQJZ formula in PD.

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