Study Shows that Alzheimer’s Disease is not Prevented by Ginkgo Biloba Extract
A new study published in the journal Lancet Neurology reveals that the Ginkgo Biloba extract doesn’t reduce the possibility of diagnosing elderly patients with Alzheimer’s disease.
The paper examines if a dose of 120 mg of standardized Ginkgo Biloba extract taken directly from the leaves of the tree administered twice a day, affects the number of patients who are later diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. A comparison has been done with the help of a control group that received placebo. The study was conducted as a double-blind, randomized trial and had almost 3000 participants, all from France, all older than 70 years of age. All patients were included in the study based on their complaints on memory problems.
Half of the patients received the Ginkgo Biloba extract whilst the other half received a placebo that was designed to have a similar taste and aspect as the Ginkgo Biloba pills. The cognitive function, the memory and the dementia status were all tested over a period of 5 years. Researchers used standardized tests in order to conclude the results. The results that were gathered at the end of the clinical trial show that 4% (roughly 60 patients) of the group receiving Ginkgo Biloba have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, compared to 5% (roughly 70 patients) from the control group. Researchers found that the difference between the groups is not statistically significant. Furthermore, the research team has shown that there is no statistically significant difference between the deaths recorded in both groups.A precedent clinical trial from 2009, held in the United States of America has shown similar results. The results of these studies, if put together, show that the likelihood of Alzheimer’s disease onset is not reduced through administering medication consisting of Ginkgo Biloba extract.
“Effective and safe prevention strategies are urgently needed to tackle the growing public health burden of Alzheimer’s disease, and the efficacy of any such intervention needs to be shown through randomised controlled trials. This is only the third Alzheimer’s prevention trial to be completed, and is the first to be done outside the USA, so further research in this area is urgently needed”, said professor Bruno Vellas, from the HÃ´pital Casselardit, in Toulouse, France. Professor Vellas is the lead author of the study.
Professor Vellas noted that the results of the study only shows that the daily use of Ginkgo Biloba doesn’t affect the onset and progression of Alzheimer’s disease. However, more studies regarding preventive therapies are needed in the near future, as it is speculated that the prevalence of Alzheimer’s will quadruple in the next 40 years.