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Mol Vis. 2012;18:390-402. Epub 2012 Feb 9.

Ginkgo biloba: an adjuvant therapy for progressive normal and high tension glaucoma.

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Department of Ophthalmology, University of Basel, Basel, Switzerland.


Gingko biloba has been used for hundreds of years to treat various disorders such as asthma, vertigo, fatigue and, tinnitus or circulatory problems. Two of the main extracts are EGb761 and LI 1370. Most pharmacological, toxicological and clinical studies have focused on the neuroprotective value of these two main extracts. Neuroprotection is a rapidly expanding area of research. This area is of particular interest due to the fact that it represents a new avenue of therapy for a frustrating disease that may progress despite optimal treatment. One such disease is glaucoma.Glaucoma leads to the loss of retinal ganglion cells and their axons but also to tissue remodelling which involves both the optic nerve head and the retina. In the retina the astrocytes get activated. In addition, the optic nerve gets thinner and the cells of the lateral geniculate ganglion disappear partially. On average, ocular blood flow (OBF) is reduced in glaucoma patients in various tissues of the eye. Increased intraocular pressure (IOP) is a major risk factor for glaucomatous damage. Nevertheless, there is little doubt that other risk factors besides IOP are involved. One such risk factor is a primary vascular dysregulation (PVD) occurring in patients with a disturbed autoregulation, another risk factor is oxidative stress.

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