Abstract Title:

[Ginkgo biloba extract EGb 761 in the treatment of dementia: evidence of efficacy and tolerability].

Abstract Source:

Fortschr Neurol Psychiatr. 2009 Sep;77(9):494-506. Epub 2009 Jul 20. PMID: 19621278

Abstract Author(s):

S Kasper, H Schubert

Article Affiliation:

Universitätsklinik für Psychiatrie und Psychotherapie, Medizinische Universität Wien, Währinger Gürtel 18-20, Vienna, Austria. [email protected]


The Ginkgo biloba extract EGb 761 interferes with pathomechanisms relevant to dementia, such as Abeta aggregation, mitochondrial dysfunction, insulin resistance, and hypoperfusion. The efficacy of EGb 761 in the treatment of dementia (Alzheimer's disease and vascular dementia) has been studied in 10 randomised, controlled, double-blind clinical trials. In three of the four large trials conducted in accordance with recent recommendations EGb 761 was significantly superior to placebo with respect to cognitive performance and one or more further (global, functional or behavioural) outcomes demonstrating the clinical relevance of the findings. The findings from the six smaller trials are in line with those of the large trials. One trial was inconclusive, but of questionable external validity due to uncommonly rigorous patient selection. Subgroup analyses of this study together with the findings from the most recent clinical trial suggest that EGb 761 may be most beneficial to patients with neuropsychiatric symptoms, who actually constitute the majority of dementia patients. Delay in symptom progression, rates of clinically significant treatment response and numbers needed to treat (NNT) found for EGb 761 are in the same range as those reported for cholinesterase inhibitors. In an exploratory trial comparing EGb 761 and donepezil, no statistically significant or clinically relevant differences were seen. Hence, EGb 761 has its place in the treatment of dementia.

Study Type : Human Study

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