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Specific memory effects of Ginkgo biloba extract EGb 761 in middle-aged healthy volunteers.
Phytomedicine 2011; 18(14):1202-7P

Abstract

INTRODUCTION

Recent reviews showed that Ginkgo biloba extract EGb 761(1) is effective to enhance performance in patients with cognitive impairment (e.g., dementia). The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of EGb 761 on memory and the specificity of such effects on distinct memory functions in middle-aged healthy volunteers.

METHODS

A total of 188 healthy subjects aged 45-56 years were randomised to receive EGb 761 (240 mg once daily) or placebo for 6 weeks. Outcome measures were the change in memory performance in a demanding standardised free recall paradigm (list of appointments) and a less demanding standardised recognition test (driving-route). Based on previous findings we predicted superiority of EGb 761 in recall testing. Specificity in effects was assessed by separating immediate vs. delayed and quantitative vs. qualitative free recall measures.

RESULTS

After 6 weeks, EGb 761-treated subjects improved significantly in quantity of recall, i.e., the number of correctly recalled appointments (drug-placebo differences: p=0.038 for immediate and p=0.008 for delayed recall). Effects on qualitative recall performance (ratio of false to correct items) were similar (drug-placebo differences: p=0.092 for immediate and p=0.010 for delayed recall). No superiority of Ginkgo was evident in another everyday memory test which asked for recognition of a driving route (drug-placebo differences: p>0.10). The incidence of adverse events was low and not significantly different between treatment groups.

DISCUSSION

EGb 761 (240 mg once daily) improves free recall of appointments in middle-aged healthy volunteers, which requires high demands on self-initiated retrieval of learned material. This function is known to be sensitive to normal aging, i.e., reduced in healthy middle-aged subjects. No effects are seen in a less demanding everyday memory task which does not tap this critical function. This ties in with previous studies which found specific patterns of benefit from EGb 761 in demanding cognitive tasks.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Department of Psychology, University of Osnabrueck, Osnabrueck, Germany. reiner.kaschel@web.de

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Randomized Controlled Trial
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

Language

eng

PubMed ID

21802920

Citation

Kaschel, R. "Specific Memory Effects of Ginkgo Biloba Extract EGb 761 in Middle-aged Healthy Volunteers." Phytomedicine : International Journal of Phytotherapy and Phytopharmacology, vol. 18, no. 14, 2011, pp. 1202-7.
Kaschel R. Specific memory effects of Ginkgo biloba extract EGb 761 in middle-aged healthy volunteers. Phytomedicine. 2011;18(14):1202-7.
Kaschel, R. (2011). Specific memory effects of Ginkgo biloba extract EGb 761 in middle-aged healthy volunteers. Phytomedicine : International Journal of Phytotherapy and Phytopharmacology, 18(14), pp. 1202-7. doi:10.1016/j.phymed.2011.06.021.
Kaschel R. Specific Memory Effects of Ginkgo Biloba Extract EGb 761 in Middle-aged Healthy Volunteers. Phytomedicine. 2011 Nov 15;18(14):1202-7. PubMed PMID: 21802920.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Specific memory effects of Ginkgo biloba extract EGb 761 in middle-aged healthy volunteers. A1 - Kaschel,R, Y1 - 2011/07/30/ PY - 2011/8/2/entrez PY - 2011/8/2/pubmed PY - 2012/3/1/medline SP - 1202 EP - 7 JF - Phytomedicine : international journal of phytotherapy and phytopharmacology JO - Phytomedicine VL - 18 IS - 14 N2 - INTRODUCTION: Recent reviews showed that Ginkgo biloba extract EGb 761(1) is effective to enhance performance in patients with cognitive impairment (e.g., dementia). The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of EGb 761 on memory and the specificity of such effects on distinct memory functions in middle-aged healthy volunteers. METHODS: A total of 188 healthy subjects aged 45-56 years were randomised to receive EGb 761 (240 mg once daily) or placebo for 6 weeks. Outcome measures were the change in memory performance in a demanding standardised free recall paradigm (list of appointments) and a less demanding standardised recognition test (driving-route). Based on previous findings we predicted superiority of EGb 761 in recall testing. Specificity in effects was assessed by separating immediate vs. delayed and quantitative vs. qualitative free recall measures. RESULTS: After 6 weeks, EGb 761-treated subjects improved significantly in quantity of recall, i.e., the number of correctly recalled appointments (drug-placebo differences: p=0.038 for immediate and p=0.008 for delayed recall). Effects on qualitative recall performance (ratio of false to correct items) were similar (drug-placebo differences: p=0.092 for immediate and p=0.010 for delayed recall). No superiority of Ginkgo was evident in another everyday memory test which asked for recognition of a driving route (drug-placebo differences: p>0.10). The incidence of adverse events was low and not significantly different between treatment groups. DISCUSSION: EGb 761 (240 mg once daily) improves free recall of appointments in middle-aged healthy volunteers, which requires high demands on self-initiated retrieval of learned material. This function is known to be sensitive to normal aging, i.e., reduced in healthy middle-aged subjects. No effects are seen in a less demanding everyday memory task which does not tap this critical function. This ties in with previous studies which found specific patterns of benefit from EGb 761 in demanding cognitive tasks. SN - 1618-095X UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/21802920/Specific_memory_effects_of_Ginkgo_biloba_extract_EGb_761_in_middle_aged_healthy_volunteers_ L2 - https://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S0944-7113(11)00227-3 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -