Despite being one of the biggest selling over-the-counter ‘remedies’ for memory loss, gingko biloba does not slow or prevent Alzheimers disease, says a recent study published in the Lancet Neurology.
For years, the Chinese herb has been touted as an antidote to memory loss, especially in people suffering with Alzheimer’s disease. One of the more obvious signs of this type of dementia is that it affects memory, as well as the sufferers’ behaviour.
Ginkgo Does Not Prevent Alzheimers
A group of French scientists from the University of Toulouse, studied 2,854 patients over a 5-year period. Their results showed no statistically significant prevention of Alzheimer’s disease in the patients.
The people who took part in the study were aged 70 years and over, who had previously visited their doctors with worries or concerns about memory loss.
The latest study, which is the largest of its kind to date, echoes the findings of several other studies that looked into the relationship between Alzheimer’s disease and gingko biloba. In particular, a study published in The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) in 2008 concluded that:
‘In this study, G biloba at 120 mg twice a day was not effective in reducing either the overall incidence rate of dementia or AD [Alzheimer's disease] incidence in elderly individuals with normal cognition or those with MCI [mild cognitive impairment].’
Gingko Biloba was thought to have nootropic (memory-enhancing) qualities, with one study from 2005 concluding that:
‘In line with the literature, after acute administration ginkgo improved performance in tests of attention and memory. However, there were no effects after 6 weeks, suggesting that tolerance develops to the effects in young, healthy participants.’
So, sadly it would seem that it’s back to the drawing board, or rather, back to the lab, to find a way to slow or prevent Alzheimers disease.
For more information on Alzheimers Disease, check out this excellent resource from the American Health Assistance Foundation.
Category: Memory News