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Wien Med Wochenschr. 2002;152(15-16):418-22.

[Value of Ginkgo biloba in treatment of Alzheimer dementia].

[Article in German]


During the last decade, there has been an explosive growth of research concerning the extract of Ginkgo biloba termed Egb 761. In experimental studies, animal studies and clinical studies Ginkgo biloba has shown a similar pharmacological potency and clinical efficacy like synthetic defined drugs in the therapy of reduced cerebral performance. Ginkgo biloba special extract Egb 761 is a standardized and highly purified extract of Ginkgo leaves. Among the active constituents are the ginkgo-flavone glycosides and the terpene-lactones (ginkgolides, bilobalide). The multifactorial principle of action of Ginkgo biloba is characterized by rheological and blood-flow-promoting properties, protective effects against ischaemia and hypoxia, effects on nerve cell energy metabolism, antioedematous and myelin-protective effects, radical-scavenger activity, effects on various cerebral transmitter and receptor systems. These action principles constitute the rationale for clinical trials in vascular dementia and primary degenerative dementia of the Alzheimer type, and in mixed forms of both. The cerebral bioavailability of Ginkgo biloba extract has been demonstrated by electroencephalography. In clinical trials of different working-groups, effects of Ginkgo biloba on the cognitive performance, global function, and activities of the daily living have been found. Metaanalysis in the indication--demential disorders--comparing Ginkgo biloba versus acetylcholinesterase inhibitors have shown a similar clinical efficacy of both therapy regimens with an additional drug safety benefit for Ginkgo. Due to the clinical efficacy the WHO accepted Ginkgo biloba as an antidementiv drug and add it in January 2000 into the recent ATC-Classification Index. In future antidementive therapy drugs with an different mode of action should be given in combination. Furthermore clinical trials with fixed combinations of acetylcholinesterase inhibitors with Ginkgo biloba extracts in moderate or severe dementia would be necessary.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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