Ginkgo biloba for mild to moderate dementia in a community setting: a pragmatic, randomised, parallel-group, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial.Int J Geriatr Psychiatry 2008; 23(12):1222-30IJ
Doubt over the cost-effectiveness of the cholinesterase inhibitors in dementia has renewed interest in alternative treatments such as Ginkgo biloba. We aimed to determine the effectiveness and the safety profile of Ginkgo biloba for treating early stage dementia in a community setting.
We conducted a community-based, pragmatic, randomised, double-blind, parallel-group trial where participants were given a standardised extract of Ginkgo biloba (120 mg daily) or a placebo control for 6 months. Our primary outcomes were cognitive functioning (ADAS-Cog) and participant and carer-rated quality of life (QOL-AD).
We recruited 176 participants, mainly through general practices. In the ANCOVA model with baseline score as a co-variate (n = 176), Ginkgo did not have a significant effect on outcome at six months on either the ADAS-Cog score (p = 0.392), the participant-rated QOL-AD score (p = 0.787) nor the carer-rated QOL-AD score (p = 0.222).
We found no evidence that a standard dose of high purity Ginkgo biloba confers benefit in mild-moderate dementia over 6 months.