Home > Trending on TAP > August 2018 > Ginkgo Biloba Supports Cognitive Function After Stroke

Ginkgo Biloba Supports Cognitive Function After Stroke

8/14/2018 10:31:11 AM
Cognitive function often declines after a stroke, and the prevalence of dementia in stroke survivors is approximately 30%. In a multicenter, randomized, controlled trial, researchers investigated the effects of Ginkgo biloba extract on neurological deficits and cognitive decline after acute stroke.
A total of 348 patients were enrolled in the trial within 7 days of acute ischemic stroke onset. Participants were randomized to the ginkgo group (450 mg ginkgo + 100 mg aspirin per day) or the control group (only aspirin) for 6 months. Ginkgo ketone ester dispersible tablets were produced by Jinagsu Shenlong Pharmaceutical Company and included 44% flavone glycosides, 10% terpene lactones, 2.5% Ginkgolide B, and < 2ppm harmful ginkgoic acid.
The primary outcome measure was decline in the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) score at 6 months. Secondary outcome measures were other neuropsychological tests (measured for up to 6 months) and incidence of vascular events (measured for up to 2 years).
MoCA scores were similar for both group at baseline, but scores after 12, 30, 90, and 180 days were overall higher in the ginkgo group than in the control group. The difference in MoCA scores between groups at 6 months was significant, indicating that Ginkgo biloba extract promoted MoCA improvement. Secondary neuropsychological tests suggested that ginkgo also supported improvements in neurological deficits, global functions, and executive functions.
Within 2 years of enrollment, 36 patients experienced secondary vascular events (16 in the ginkgo group and 20 in the control group). The difference in vascular events between groups was not significant. There was also no significant difference in adverse events between groups.
The results of this study suggest that patients who receive Ginkgo biloba extract for 6 months after acute ischemic stroke experience better memory, executive functions, and neurological functions in daily life than those who receive standard care. Furthermore, there is no indication that ginkgo increases adverse events or subsequent vascular events. The trial included a small sample size and a short duration of treatment, so the results should be considered preliminary.  
Li S, Zhang X, Fang Q et al. Ginkgo biloba extract improved cognitive and neurological functions of acute ischaemic stroke: a randomised controlled trial. Stroke Vasc Neurol. 2017; 2: 189-197.

Have Clinical Research Summaries Delivered to Your Inbox
TAP Integrative is your go-to resource for integrative clinical protocols, case studies, and evidence-based clinical information. Sign up for TAP’s enewsletter and receive integrative clinical research summaries, clinical pearls and tips from integrative experts delivered straight to your inbox. Bonus: Receive TAP’s top 3 patient education downloads FREE. Subscribe here >>>