Ginkgo doesn’t seem to slow brain declineDecember 30th, 2009 - 3:05 pm ICT by IANS
Washington, Dec 30 (IANS) Ginkgo biloba supplements, taken by older adults for several years, did not slow down their cognitive decline, says a new study.
Cognitive decline is a decrease in the ability of the brain to perform regular functions like judgement, reasoning, memory, learning and understanding.
“Ginkgo biloba is marketed widely and used with the hope of improving, preventing, or delaying cognitive impairment associated with ageing and neuro-degenerative disorders such as Alzheimer disease,” the study authors write.
“Indeed, in the United States and particularly in Europe, Ginkgo biloba is perhaps the most widely used herbal treatment consumed specifically to prevent age-related cognitive decline.”
Beth E. Snitz, University of Pittsburgh and colleagues analysed outcomes from the Ginkgo Evaluation of Memory (GEM) study to determine if G biloba slowed the rate of cognitive decline in older adults who had normal cognition or mild cognitive impairment (MCI).
The GEM study previously found that G biloba was not effective in reducing the incidence of Alzheimer dementia or dementia overall.
However, evidence from large clinical trials regarding its effect on long-term cognitive functioning is lacking.
The randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial included 3,069 community-dwelling participants, ages 72 to 96 years, who received a twice-daily dose of 120-mg extract of G biloba.
The study was conducted at six academic medical centres in the US between 2000 and 2008, with a median (midpoint) follow-up of 6.1 years. Change in cognition was assessed by various tests and measures.
“In sum, we find no evidence that G biloba slows the rate of cognitive decline in older adults,” the study authors wrote.
These findings were published in the December issue of JAMA.
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Tags: clinical trial, clinical trials, cognitive decline, cognitive functioning, daily dose, degenerative disorders, dementia, double blind placebo, ginkgo, ginkgo biloba, herbal treatment, judgement, medical centres, midpoint, mild cognitive impairment, mild cognitive impairment mci, older adults, study authors, university of pittsburgh, various tests