Ginkgo-special extract improves mental performance of dementia patients

In a systematic review, known as a meta-analysis, a group of scientists at the University of Shanghai has demonstrated yet again that Ginkgo-special extract EGb 761® significantly improves the mental performance of dementia patients (Wang et al., 2010). A particular feature of this review was that, for the first time, researchers incorporated the risk of further deterioration of mental performance due to the natural progress of the disease into their assessment. "This novel analysis enabled the therapeutic value of treatment with EGb 761® to be convincingly documented", explains Prof. Michael Habs, Managing Director of Dr. Willmar Schwabe GmbH & Co. KG, Karlsruhe, the manufacturer of EGb 761®.

“The present study yet again confirms the rightful role of Ginkgo special extract EGb 761® in the treatment of dementia”

During their investigations, B.-S. Wang and his team found six clinical studies which used standardised Ginkgo-biloba-extract and which met their pre-determined high quality requirements. These studies covered a total of 1838 patients diagnosed with dementia who were randomly assigned for treatment with either Ginkgo extract or placebo. Neither patients nor the doctors who carried out the investigations knew which treatment group a patient belonged to.

The Chinese scientists then employed a special statistical technique, which, when evaluating treatment effects, takes account of the risk of further deterioration in mental capacity. Previous studies had namely shown that the measured differences between patients treated with the genuine drug and those on placebo were dependent not only on the strength of effect of the actual drug, but also on how quickly the illness and its symptoms such as loss of memory, concentration and information processing ability worsen in the untreated patients.

The Wang study demonstrates the very clear and statistically significant superiority of EGb 761® compared to placebo, particularly after factoring in the risk of further mental deterioration. This result is consistent with the assessment of the German Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health (IQWiG) as well as with the findings of two additional recently published reviews from Austria and from Germany. "The present study yet again confirms the rightful role of Ginkgo special extract EGb 761® in the treatment of dementia", comments Prof. Ralf Ihl, Medical Director of the Clinic for Geronto-Psychiatry at the Maria-Hilf Hospital in Krefeld. "EGb 761® has a proven ability to improve memory and the ability to concentrate".

EGb 761® is a patented Ginkgo biloba extract developed by Schwabe Pharmaceuticals. It is widely accepted as the best researched phytomedicine worldwide and is available in more than 80 countries.


University of Shanghai


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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