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Ginkgo Biloba Extract Is Effective For Cognitive Decline December 30, 2009

Posted by Dreamhealer in Alternative medicine.

“Ginkgo biloba not only improves declining memory but offers specific benefits for other cognitive functions as well” that’s how Dr. Reiner Kaschel, Clinical Neuropsychologist at the University of Osnabrueck, Germany, summarizes the results of a comprehensive new scientific publication.

Internet shopping, online-banking, non-stop heavy traffic, unfamiliar and complicated ticketing machines, PINs for mobile phones and credit cards – our everyday professional and private lives are varied and complex and demand a permanently high degree of mental performance. Because certain cognitive features such as information processing, speed and flexibility of thinking, as well as ability to concentrate tend to decline with age, more and more people feel there is a gap between demands and performance. This is leading to greater interest in possible ways to combat cognitive decline.

A new approach to assessing the scientific evidence for Ginkgo biloba

Kaschel analyzed the scientific evidence for Ginkgo from a total of 29 published clinical trials to clarify whether Ginkgo extracts may be recommended to improve declining mental performance. Central to Kaschel’s publication were the following questions not yet fully explored in the scientific literature:

– Does Ginkgo biloba improve mental performance in general or are there specific areas of cognitive functions where the extract shows a particular benefit?

– Which specific aspects of memory are strengthened?

– Does Ginkgo biloba also offers benefits for selective attention, executive functioning or intelligence?

The review covered all placebo-controlled, double-blind, randomized studies between 1980 and 2007, in which function-specific tests for cognitive decline were applied. The study findings were then analyzed for separate areas of mental performance: Memory, attention, executive functions, and intelligence.

Efficacy shown in all areas of cognitive function

29 studies with a total of 2,414 participants being either healthy old adults or patients showing first signs of cognitive decline provided the database for the review. In total 209 Ginkgo – placebo comparisons were analyzed with the result that in all cognitive functional areas examined, Ginkgo extract showed significant positive effects compared to placebo. Drug effects could thus be proven in areas including but not limited to short- and long-term memory, concentration, attention and executive functions with a probability 4-8-fold higher than expected purely by chance.

Author’s Conclusion: „There is consistent evidence that chronic administration (of Ginkgo extract) improves selective attention, some executive processes and long-term memory for verbal and non-verbal material.”

EGb 761® is a patented Ginkgo biloba extract developed and manufactured by Dr. Willmar Schwabe GmbH & Co. KG, Karlsruhe, Germany. It is widely recognized as the best researched phytomedicine world-wide and is available in more than 80 countries.


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