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Life Sci. 2000 Aug 11;67(12):1389-96.

Actions of Ginkgo Biloba related to potential utility for the treatment of conditions involving cerebral hypoxia.

Author information

1
Temple University School of Pharmacy, Philadelphia, PA 19140, USA. rraffa@nimbus.temple.edu

Abstract

Neuronal hypoxia results from a variety of cerebrovascular accidents or 'normal' age-associated anatomic changes. The consequences vary from mild deficits in neurologic function to massive neuropathology. Present pharmacotherapeutic therapy is not ideal. Two apparently disparate approaches to the search for better treatment or prevention-one involving reassessment of herbal remedies as 'alternative' medicine and the other one involving the desirability of increased structural diversity in HTS (high-throughput screening) libraries and as combinatorial chemistry templates-have converged in a rekindling of interest and a reevaluation of the pharmacologic properties of substances such as extract from the leaves of Ginkgo biloba Linne (form. Salisburia adiantifolia Sm.). There are reports of positive results from a small number of controlled clinical trials (albeit with small numbers of patients) sufficient to suggest that 'Ginkgo' might have therapeutic benefit in some situations or subset of patients. The pharmacologic mechanism by which Ginkgo might be able to provide the observed effect is not clear. However, it is believed that the flavonoid and terpenoid components of Ginkgo extract might produce beneficial therapeutic effects through mechanisms acting separately or in concert, such as the antagonism of PAF (platelet activating factor), antioxidant and metabolic actions, and effects on neurotransmitters. These mechanisms are reviewed in this article.

PMID:
10983836
DOI:
10.1016/s0024-3205(00)00741-4
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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