Ethnopharmacological relevance: Gilles de la Tourette’s Syndrome is a childhood-onset disease with clinical features of motor and phonic tics. Yi Gan San is a traditional Chinese medicine formula that can reduce aggressiveness and agitation and inhibit dopamine function. This study investigated the effects of YGS on the psychiatric behavior of children and adolescents with Tourette’s Syndrome.
Methods: A double-blind, randomized, controlled preliminary study was conducted. A total of 38 patients with Tourette’s Syndrome were assigned to the control group (CG, 19 patients) who received the oral administration of Yi Gan San placebo (90% starch and 10% Yi Gan San; 2.5 g thrice daily) or to a treatment group (Tourette’s Syndrome, 19 patients) who received Yi Gan San for 4 weeks. The primary outcome measure was the change in Yale Global Tic Severity Scale (YGTSS) overall and subscale scores.
Results: The intensity score for phonic tics before oral administration of Yi Gan San, and after 2 weeks, 3 weeks and 4 weeks was not significantly different between CG and TG groups (2.94 ± 1.14 vs 2.79 ± 1.08, p = .686; 2.29 ± 1.21 vs 1.95 ± 1.08, p = .370; 2.41 ± 1.18 vs 2.05 ± 1.51, p = .435; and 2.29 ± 1.26 vs 1.84 ± 1.42, p = .323, respectively), while the intensity score for phonic tics after 1-week oral administration of YGS in the TG was 1.89 ± 1.10 lower than 3.06 ± 1.39 in the CG (p = .008).
Conclusion: Oral administration of Yi Gan San for 1 week only reduced the intensity of phonic tics compared with oral administration of Yi Gan San placebo, suggesting that Yi Gan San can reduce their intensity for a short period, and the compliance of oral administration of Yi Gan San for 4 weeks can be accepted in children and adolescents with Tourette’s Syndrome.