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Liquid chromatography coupled with diode array detector and electrospray ionization mass spectrometry was developed for the qualitative and quantitative comparison of the main constituents in Saussurea laniceps (SL) and S. medusa (SM), two species of plants used under the name "Xuelianhua" in traditional Tibetan medicine. A method validation including linearity, limit of detection, precision and recovery was performed. The results showed that a good linearity with R<sup>2</sup> &gt; 0.99 was achieved, and the limit of detection of the quantified constituents was reported to be between 0.8 and 3.3 ng. The relative standard deviation value was below 3.82% for repeatability, and recovery studies for the quantified compounds were found to be within the range 90.92-103.12%. The unique properties of the present method were evaluated by analyzing twelve related herbal samples including five S. laniceps samples and seven S. medusa samples. Twenty-two compounds including phenolic acids, cumarins, lignanoids and flavonoids were identified by online ESI-MS and by comparison with literature data and standard compounds, and seven of them were quantified by LC-DAD simultaneously. The results demonstrated that the common constituents in the two herbs were protocatechuic acid, syringoside, chlorogenic acid, isoquercitroside, 1,5-dicaffeoylquinic acid, apigenin 7-O-Îø-d-glucoside, chrysoeriol 7-O-Îø-d-glucoside, acacetin 7-O-Îø-d-glucoside, apigenin and chrysoeriol. In the present study, it was found that the characteristic constituents were umbelliferone, scopoletin and their glucosides in S. laniceps, as well as arctiin and arctigenin in S. medusa. It was feasible to choose these characteristic compounds for the quality evaluation as well as chemical authentication of the two related herbs. The results also support discrimination between the two species when using them in folk medicine.

INTRODUCTION: Qigong exercise offers a potentially safe, low-cost and effective mind-body rehabilitative intervention for mitigating the problem of gait interruption among patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) who have frequent freezing of gait (FOG) episodes. However, its clinical effects have not been established. This paper describes the trial protocol of evaluating the clinical efficacy of a newly developed Integrated Qigong in improving gait among patients with PD who have FOG.METHODS AND ANALYSIS: A single-blind randomised controlled trial is designed to compare Integrated Qigong and balance training with an attention control. Participants will be patients with mild to moderate PD who experience FOG and are recruited from local communities in Shanghai, China. Participants will be randomly allocated to one of the three groups: Integrated Qigong group, a balance exercise intervention group, or control group. The total number of participants will be 126, and masked assessments will be made at baseline, 12 weeks (end of intervention) and 12-week follow-up. Both Integrated Qigong group and balance training group will receive a group-based exercise intervention that meets three times per week, 60 min in duration, for 12 weeks. The control group will receive a 60 min weekly group session and monthly health education. The primary outcomes are gait parameters (stride length, gait velocity, stride time variability) and occurrence of FOG. The secondary outcomes are postural instability, walking disability, falling, fear of falling and quality of life. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: This study has been approved by the Ethics Committee of Shanghai University of Sport and registered at China Clinical Trial Registry. Participants will sign informed consent prior to the participation of the trial. The findings of the study will be published in peer-reviewed academic journals and disseminated to PD support groups, medical community and media. TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: ChiCTR1800016570.