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NewsBites December 2012 Issue

Ginkgo Again Fails to Make a Difference vs. Dementia

Yet another trial has failed to find significant memory-protecting benefits from ginkgo biloba, leading an accompanying editorial in The Lancet Neurology to suggest users of the herbal extract “might now consider letting it go.” French researchers tested 120 milligrams of ginkgo twice a day versus placebo among 2,854 patients, age 70 and up, free of dementia but who had reported memory problems to their physicians. After five years of followup, 61 of those randomly assigned to ginkgo and 73 in the placebo group developed dementia—a difference scientists said was not statistically significant. The study was limited, however, by the surprisingly low rate of dementia, regardless of group, among the 2,487 who completed the trial. The findings further confirm the negative results of the large Ginkgo Evaluation of Memory trial.

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