New Study Indicates That Ginkgo Biloba Special Extract EGb 761 from Schwabe Pharmaceuticals is an Effective Treatment of Dementia

A new placebo-controlled study in 410 patients suffering from mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease or vascular dementia has demonstrated the efficacy of EGb 761(R). Like the majority of dementia patients encountered in everyday clinical practice, the patients in the study suffered from both cognitive impairment and neuropsychiatric symptoms such as depressed mood, anxiety, irritability or aggression. During the observation period of 24 weeks, EGb 761(R) improved both cognitive functioning and neuropsychiatric symptoms of the patients significantly.

aEURThis study confirms that EGb 761(R) improves cognition as well as neuropsychiatric symptoms and activities of daily living. This not only benefits the patients themselves but in addition provides significant relief to the care-giving relatives." says Prof. Ralf Ihl, a leading German geriatric specialist and president of the European Associaton of Geriatric Psychiatry. aEURThis is important because it gives care-givers extra respite and some much needed time for themselves."

The randomized, double-blind study included 410 outpatients who received either a once-daily dose of 240 mg of the patented Ginkgo biloba extract EGb 761(R) or a corresponding placebo. The primary outcome measure in the cognitive domain was the change in the total score of the SKT test battery, an internationally and cross-culturally validated measure to test cognitive performance in dementia. In the neuropsychiatric domain the Neuropsychiatric Inventory (NPI) was applied. Secondary outcome measures included scales to test the improvement or deterioration of daily activities, quality of life and the distress experienced by caregivers.

The patients treated with EGb 761(R) improved throughout the study with a significant advantage of 1.7 points (Alzheimer's disease) and 1.4 points (Vascular dementia) in the SKT. On the NPI score an advantage of 3.1 points (Alzheimer's disease) and 3.2 points (Vascular dementia) was observed for the patients receiving EGb 761(R). Similar improvements were found in all other outcome measures. EGb 761(R) was also very well tolerated with comparable adverse event rates in both treatment groups.

The results of this study are in line with the findings of earlier studies that have shown the clinical efficacy of EGb 761 in the treatment of Alzheimer's and vascular dementia including a one-year US trial by Le Bars et al. published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) [2, 3].

EGb 761(R) is a patented Ginkgo biloba extract developed and manufactured by the Dr. Willmar Schwabe Company, Karlsruhe, Germany. It is widely recognized as the best researched phytomedicine world-wide and is available in more than 80 countries.

[1] Ihl R, Tribanek M, Napryeyenko O. A 240-mg Once-Daily Formulation of Ginkgo biloba Extract EGb 761(R) is Effective in Both Alzheimer's Disease and Vascular Dementia: Results from a Randomized Controlled Trial.
Alzheimer's & Dementia 2008;4(suppl 2):T165-T166.
[2] Napryeyenko O, Borzenko I. Ginkgo biloba Special Extract in Dementia with Neuropsychiatric Features. A randomised, placebo-controlled, double-blind clinical trial. Arzneimittel-Forschung (Drug Research) 2007;57(1):4--11.
[3] Le Bars PL, Katz MM, Berman N, Itil TM, Freedman AM, Schatzberg AF. A placebo-controlled, double-blind, randomized trial of an extract of Ginkgo biloba for dementia. JAMA 1997, 278(16):1327-32.

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