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Ginkgo biloba does not reduce incidence of dementia in elderly people

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Does Ginkgo biloba reduce the incidence of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease (AD) in elderly people with normal cognition or mild cognitive impairment?


3069 community volunteers aged 75 years or older (mean age 79.1 years, 46% women). Participants with mild cognitive impairment (MCI, n = 482) were included (see online notes for list of main exclusion criteria).


Five US academic medical centres; 2000–2008.


G biloba (120 mg extract EGb 761 twice daily) or placebo.


All cause dementia and AD (DSM-IV), as determined by the consensus of an expert panel reviewing clinical assessments and scores on the Modified Mini-Mental State Examination, the Clinical Dementia Rating scale, the Alzheimer Disease Assessment Scale and the GEM Study Neuropsychological Battery (administered once scores in at least two of the other tests had declined by a specified number of points or the participant had been diagnosed with dementia or given anti-dementia drugs by their personal physician). Participants were assessed every 6 months for incident dementia. Type of dementia was determined using criteria from the National Institute of Neurological and Communicative Disorders and Stroke, …

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  • Source of funding: National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Office of Dietary Supplements and National Institute on Aging, National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (grant U01 AT000162); and the University of Pittsburgh Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center (P50AG05133); Roena Kulynych Center for Memory and Cognition Research; National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Schwabe Pharmaceuticals, Karlsruhe, Germany donated the G biloba and placebo tablets for the study.


  • Competing interests: RH is an employee of Dr Willmar Schwabe GmbH & Co, KG Pharmaceuticals, the manufacturer of the Ginkgo biloba extract EGb 761.