The cognitive, subjective, & physical effects of a ginkgo biloba/panax ginseng combination in healthy volunteers with neurasthenic complaints

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We evaluated the effects of a Ginkgo biloba/ginseng

combination on cognitive function in this 90-day,

double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-group study.

Sixty-four healthy volunteers (aged 40 to 65 years), selected

on the basis of fulfilling the ICD-10 F48.0 criteria for

neurasthenia, were assigned randomly to four equal dosing

groups, receiving 80, 160, or 320 mg of the combination b.i.d.

or placebo. Assessments were performed on the day before

dosing, and again at Days 1, 30, and 90 at 1 hour after the

morning dose and 1 hour after the afternoon dose. The

assessments included the Cognitive Drug Research (CDR)

computerized assessment system, the Vienna Determination Unit,

cycle ergometry, and various questionnaires. The treatments

were well tolerated by all volunteers. On Day 90 at 1 hour

post morning dosing, dose-related improvements were seen on

the CDR tests, the 320 mg dose being significantly superior to

placebo. These effects, however, were reversed 1 hour after

the afternoon dose, possibly suggesting that a longer

inter-dosing interval would be preferable. The 80-mg dose

produced a significant benefit on the ergometry assessment of

heart rate at maximum load. There were also several supporting

changes from other assessments, including an advantage of 320

mg over placebo on the global score from the Symptom

Checklist-90-revised (SCL-90-R) at Day 90.

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