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Efficacy and safety of acupuncture combined with Madopar for Parkinson’s disease: a systematic review with meta-analysis
  1. Hongjie Liu1,
  2. Lingxiu Chen1,
  3. Zhe Zhang2,
  4. Guozhu Geng3,
  5. Wenjun Chen4,
  6. Hanqiu Dong1,
  7. Liang Chen1,
  8. Sha Zhan1,
  9. Tianhao Li1,5
  1. 1College of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Jinan University, Guangzhou, China
  2. 2Shandong University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Jinan, Shandong, China
  3. 3Department of Epidemiology and Health Statistics, School of Public Health, Medical College of Soochow University, Suzhou, Jiangsu, China
  4. 4Department of Oncology, Linyi People’s Hospital, Linyi, Shandong, China
  5. 5Shenzhen Traditional Chinese Medicine Hospital, Shenzhen, Guangdong, China
  1. Correspondence to Wenjun Chen, Department of Oncology, Linyi People’s Hospital, 27 East Part of Jiefang Road, Linyi 276000, China; xiuju_chen{at}


Objective To evaluate the effectiveness and safety of acupuncture combined with Madopar for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease (PD), compared to the use of Madopar alone.

Methods A systematic search was carried out for randomised controlled trials (RCTs) of acupuncture and Madopar for the treatment of PD published between April 1995 and April 2015. The primary outcome was total effectiveness rates and secondary outcomes included Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS) scores. Data were pooled and analysed with RevMan 5.3. Results were expressed as relative ratio (RR) or with 95% confidence interval (CIs).

Results Finally, 11 RCTs with 831 subjects were included. Meta-analyses showed that acupuncture combined with Madopar for the treatment of PD can significantly improve the clinical effectiveness compared with Madopar alone (RR=1.28, 95% CI 1.18 to 1.38, P<0.001). It was also found that acupuncture combined with Madoparsignificantly improved the UPDRS II (SMD=−1.00, 95% CI −1.71 to –0.29, P=0.006) and UPDRS I–IV total summed scores (SMD=−1.15, 95% CI −1.63 to –0.67, P<0.001) but not UPDRS I (SMD=−0.37, 95% CI −0.77 to 0.02, P=0.06), UPDRS III (SMD=−0.93, 95% CI −2.28 to 0.41, P=0.17) or UPDRS IV (SMD=−0.78, 95% CI −2.24 to 0.68, P=0.30) scores. Accordingly, acupuncture combined with Madopar appeared to have a positive effect on activities of daily life and the general condition of patients with PD, but was not better than Madopar alone for the treatment of mental activity, behaviour, mood and motor disability. In the safety evaluation, it was found that acupuncture combined with Madopar significantly relieved adverse effects including gastrointestinal reactions (RR=0.38, 95% CI 0.23 to 0.65, P<0.001), on–off phenomena (RR=0.27, 95% CI 0.11 to 0.66, P=0.004) and mental disorders (RR=0.24, 95% CI 0.06 to 0.92, P=0.04) but didnot significantly reduce dyskinesia (RR=0.64, 95% CI 0.35 to 1.16, P=0.14).

Conclusion Acupuncture combined with Madoparappears, to some extent, to improve clinical effectiveness and safety in the treatment of PD, compared with Madopar alone. This conclusion must be considered cautiously, given the quality of most of the studies included was low. Therefore, more high-quality, multicentre, prospective, RCTs with large sample sizes are needed to further clarify the effect of acupuncture combined with Madopar for PD.

  • acupuncture
  • parkinson’s disease
  • neurology
  • systematic reviews
  • complementary medicine

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  • HL and LinC are joint first authors and contributed equally to this work.

  • Contributors SZ and LiaC performed the database searching and screening. GG, WC and HD extracted the data and evaluated the quality of all eligible studies and risk of bias. LinC and HL conducted the meta-analysis and interpreted the data. HL, ZZ and TL checked the data and revised the paper. All authors approved the final version of the manuscript accepted for publication.

  • Funding Traditional Chinese Medicine Bureau of Guangdong Province (research project no. 20161064).

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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