Researchers investigated the efficacy of a family of drugs used to treat Alzheimer’s as opposed to treatment with Ginko extract. Study results show that there is not a significant difference between receiving treatment using a drug or treatment using Ginko extract. Researchers concluded by noting that Ginkgo extract should be considered equally effective in the treatment of mild to moderate Alzheimer’s dementia.
The efficacy of four cholinesterase – an enzyme that hydrolyzes (adds water to) choline (a B vitamin) esters and is found mainly in blood plasma – inhibitors (tacrine, donepezil, rivastigmine, metrifonate) and Ginkgo special extract EGb 761 in Alzheimer’s disease were compared. The differences in the effects of the active substance and placebo on cognition were measured on the ADAS-Cog scale, taking into account the different degrees of dementia in the various studies and the dropout rate due to adverse drug reactions.
Efficacy, expressed as the delay in symptom progression or the difference in response rate between active substance and placebo, showed no major differences between the four cholinesterase inhibitors and the Ginkgo special extract. Only tacrine exhibited a high dropout rate due to adverse drug reactions.
In view of this, the subject of new prescriptions should be critically reviewed. Second-generation cholinesterase inhibitors (donepezil, rivastigmine, metrifonate) and Ginkgo special extract EGb 761 should be considered equally effective in the treatment of mild to moderate Alzheimer’s dementia.
Source: Phytomedicine 2000 Jan;6(6):393-401