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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2013, Article ID 674305, 10 pages
Review Article

Cerebrospinal Fluid Pharmacology: An Improved Pharmacology Approach for Chinese Herbal Medicine Research

1Institute of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Tianjin University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Tianjin 300193, China
2The Second Hospital Affiliated to Tianjin University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Tianjin 300150, China
3The Gu Lou Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine of Beijing, Beijing 100009, China

Received 19 September 2013; Revised 2 November 2013; Accepted 14 November 2013

Academic Editor: Calvin Yu-Chian Chen

Copyright © 2013 Yan-qing Wu et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Despite many successful applications of Chinese herbal medicine (CHM) in the treatment and prevention of neurological diseases (ND), the fully scientific understanding of CHM’s action mechanisms had been hampered for lack of appropriate methods to explore the combinatorial rules, the synergistic mechanisms, and the molecular basis of CHM. As an improved pharmacology approach, cerebrospinal fluid pharmacology (CSFP), based on the fact that cerebrospinal fluid plays an important role in the health maintenance of specific survival environment for neurons and glial cells, has been constructed and applied to CHM research for treating ND. In the present review, the concept and advantages of CSFP are briefly introduced. The approaches and key technologies of CSFP in CHM research are also collated and analyzed. Furthermore, the developing tendency of CSFP is summarized, and its framework in CHM research is also proposed. In summary, CSFP provides a new strategy not only to eliminate some barriers of CHM research for treating ND, but also to broaden the pharmacology research for bridging the gap between CHM and modern medicine. Moreover, the advancements in CSFP will bring about a conceptual move in active ingredients discovery of CHM and make a significant contribution to CHM modernization and globalization.