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Neurology. 2012 Sep 18;79(12):1278-84. doi: 10.1212/WNL.0b013e31826aac60. Epub 2012 Sep 5.

Ginkgo biloba does not improve cognitive function in MS: a randomized placebo-controlled trial.

Author information

  • 1Department of Neurology, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, New Orleans, USA. jlover@lsuhsc.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To determine whether Ginkgo biloba extract (ginkgo) improves cognitive function in persons with multiple sclerosis (MS).

METHODS:

Persons with MS from the Seattle and Portland VA clinics and adjacent communities who scored 1 SD or more below the mean on one of 4 neuropsychological tests (Stroop Test, California Verbal Learning Test II [CVLT-II], Controlled Oral Word Association Test [COWAT], and Paced Auditory Serial Addition Task [PASAT]) were randomly assigned to receive either one 120-mg tablet of ginkgo (EGb-761; Willmar Schwabe GmbH & Co, Germany) or one placebo tablet twice a day for 12 weeks. As the primary outcome, we compared the performance of the 2 groups on the 4 tests at exit after adjusting for baseline performance.

RESULTS:

Fifty-nine subjects received placebo and 61 received ginkgo; 1 participant receiving placebo and 3 receiving ginkgo were lost to follow-up. Two serious adverse events (AEs) (myocardial infarction and severe depression) believed to be unrelated to the treatment occurred in the ginkgo group; otherwise, there were no significant differences in AEs. The differences (ginkgo - placebo) at exit in the z scores for the cognitive tests were as follows: PASAT -0.2 (95% confidence interval [CI] -0.5 to 0.1); Stroop Test -0.5 (95% CI -0.9 to -0.1); COWAT 0.0 (95% CI -0.2 to 0.3); and CVLT-II 0.0 (95% CI -0.3 to 0.3); none was statistically significant.

CONCLUSIONS:

Treatment with ginkgo 120 mg twice a day did not improve cognitive performance in persons with MS. Classification of evidence: This study provides Class I evidence that treatment with ginkgo 120 mg twice a day for 12 weeks does not improve cognitive performance in people with MS.

PMID:
22955125
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3440446
Free PMC Article

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