Ginkgo Biloba Not Associated with Slower Decline in Cognitive Function
Cognitive decline is a loss in executive functioning (skills, thought processes, daily tasks, etc), language abilities, and memory. In the mild form, it may have very little impact on your day to day function, or it can be severe, as in
About the study
GEM is a
Cognitive levels were assessed at the beginning and end of the trial by a variety of tests and examinations including:
- Modified Mini-Mental State Examination
- Alzheimer Disease Assessment Scale
- Neuropsychological test of memory, attention, visual-spatial construction, language, and executive functions
How does this affect you?
Ginkgo biloba supplements are sold as a method to slow or prevent cognitive decline, but this study did not find that to be true in older adults. This study is considered a good quality study because it involved a large number of participants and took steps, such as blinding, to decrease the chances of unfairly influencing the outcome. There are many supplements and products that make various health claims. It is important to understand the harms and true benefits to avoid wasting your money or creating a harmful interaction with current medicine or treatment. It is best to discuss supplements with your doctor before taking or investing in them.
Cognitive decline with aging is a concern for many people. As the population of older adults grows, the prevention and treatment of cognitive decline will become more urgent. Additional research needs to be done to find better prevention techniques for this growing issue.
Ginkgo Evaluation of Memory Study
National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Snitz BE, O'meara ES, Carlson MC, et al. Ginkgo biloba for preventing cognitive decline in older adults: a randomized trial. JAMA . 2009 Dec 23/30;302(24):2663.
Last reviewed 1/14/2010 by
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