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Posts Tagged ‘Ginkgo Biloba’

Ginkgo Biloba: Is there Evidence for Preventing Cognitive Decline?

by admin on: February 16th, 2011

Ginkgo Biloba, or simply “Ginkgo,” is an herbal supplement that has been used to enhance or improve memory, belay the onset of memory disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, as well as to treat circulatory disorders by improving circulation of the blood by dilating blood vessels. However, a longitudinal study has called into question whether this herbal supplement actually prevents cognitive decline as seen in cases of dementia or age-related decline in cognitive function. Dr. Steven T. DeKosky of the University of Virginia, School of Medicine and colleagues from a total of six medical schools in the U.S. performed a study involving 3069 subjects aged 72 to 96 with normal-to-mildly impaired cognitive function.

Over eight consecutive years (2000-2008), half of the subjects in this study received Ginkgo Biloba (120mg, twice per day) whereas the other half received a placebo. These subjects underwent a battery of neuropsychological tests including: (1) the Modified Mini-mental State Examination (3MSE), (2) the cognitive subscale of the Alzheimer Disease Assessment Scale (ADAS-Cog), (3) annual neuropsychological evaluations, and (4) The Telephone Interview for Cognitive Status (when in-person evaluations were not attended).

The data from this study in the December 23, 2009 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), states that there is no evidence that the use of Ginkgo Biloba produced any slowing of age-related cognitive decline. Specifically, these researchers report there was no evidence for Ginkgo Biloba positively affecting visual-spatial construction, language, attention, psychomotor speed or executive functions. In addition, there was no evidence suggesting that Ginkgo preferentially affected people based on age, sex, race, or education level. While previous studies may have indicated that Ginkgo Biloba may have had a positive effect on cognitive functioning, those studies were not as large as the current study, nor were they conducted for as long a period as the current study.