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Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2013;2013:915691. doi: 10.1155/2013/915691. Epub 2013 May 28.

A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Ginkgo biloba in Neuropsychiatric Disorders: From Ancient Tradition to Modern-Day Medicine.

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  • 1Department of Brain and Behavioral Sciences, Section of Psychiatry, University of Pavia, Via Bassi 21, 27100 Pavia, Italy.

Abstract

Ginkgo biloba (Gb) has demonstrated antioxidant and vasoactive properties as well as clinical benefits in several conditions such as ischemia, epilepsy, and peripheral nerve damage. Additionally, Gb is supposed to act as potential cognitive enhancer in dementia. So far, several trials have been conducted to investigate the potential effectiveness of Gb in neuropsychiatric conditions. However, the results of these studies remain controversial. We conducted a systematic review and a meta-analysis of three randomised controlled trials in patients with schizophrenia and eight randomised controlled trials in patients with dementia. Gb treatment reduced positive symptoms in patients with schizophrenia and improved cognitive function and activities of daily living in patients with dementia. No effect of Gb on negative symptoms in schizophrenic patients was found. The general lack of evidence prevents drawing conclusions regarding Gb effectiveness in other neuropsychiatric conditions (i.e., autism, depression, anxiety, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, and addiction). Our data support the use of Gb in patients with dementia and as an adjunctive therapy in schizophrenic patients.

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