Home HealthTopics Health Centers Reference Library Research
Join us on Facebook Join us on Facebook Share on Facebook

Alzheimer's Disease

Ginko Biloba and Alzheimer`s

06/24/1999

Question:

Please send me information on the effects that Ginko Biloba has on Alzheimers Disease,and for people who tend to forget things sometimes. Thanks.

Answer:

Although a 1997 study in the United States suggested that Gingko Biloba may be of some help in treating the symptoms of Alzheimer`s disease and vascular dementia (dementia caused by strokes in the brain), there is no evidence that Gingko will cure or prevent Alzheimer`s disease. There are serious flaws in this study and the findings are very difficult to interpret.

In addition, some recent case studies imply that daily use of gingko biloba may cause side effects, such as excessive bleeding, especially when combined with aspirin. Much more research is needed before scientists will know whether and exactly how gingko biloba extracts benefit people with Alzheimer`s disease and other forms of dementia.

Gingko biloba most likely works as an antioxidant. If one were to compare the studies of vitamin E (another antioxidant) and gingko biloba, the vitamin E studies are better, stronger studies. The doses of vitamin E used in studies with Alzheimer` disease patients were a more potent antioxidant dose than those used in the gingko biloba studies. So far, vitamin E has demonstrated itself as an effective treatment to slow the progression of Alzheimer`s disease as well as being safe.

People should consult with their family doctors before using gingko biloba. This is especially true for those with disorders in blood circulation or blood-clotting and those taking anticoagulants such as aspirin.

If you or someone you know is concerned or worried about a memory problem, please see a doctor. Symptoms similar to those caused by Alzheimer`s disease may be caused by other medical conditions, including high fever, dehydration, vitamin deficiency and poor nutrition, bad reactions to medications, thyroid problems, depression or a minor head injury. Medical problems like these are serious and should be treated by a doctor.

Information derived from the Alzheimer`s Disease Education and Referral Center (ADEAR) Fact Sheet on Gingko Biloba and David Geldmacher, MD.

Related Resources:

The Alzheimer's Disease Education and Referral Center (ADEAR)

For more information:

Go to the Alzheimer's Disease health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Jon Stuckey, PhD
Formerly
Case Western Reserve University

David   Geldmacher, MD David Geldmacher, MD
Formerly, Assistant Professor of Neurology
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University