Tags: gingko | biloba | sclerosis | ms

Study: Gingko Biloba no Help for MS

Tuesday, 18 Sep 2012 11:35 AM


For years, multiple sclerosis patients have taken Gingko biloba to limit or fend off cognitive problems. But new research suggests the natural supplement offers no benefit.
The study, published in the journal Neurology, involved 120 patients at the Portland and Seattle Veterans Affairs medical centers – half of whom received the supplement, and half an inactive placebo. The researchers found no difference in cognitive abilities between the two, suggesting there is no benefit to using Gingko.
"It's important for scientists to continue to analyze what might help people with cognitive issues relating to their MS," said Dr. Jesus Lovera, who led the study at the Oregon Health & Science University's Department of Neurology.
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The new research was a more extensive followup to a small 2005 pilot study involving just 39 patients that suggested Ginko seemed to improve attention in some MS patients and might offer cognitive benefits.
"We wanted to follow up on the earlier findings that suggested there may be some benefit,” said Lovera, who is now with the Department of Neurology at the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center. “But we believe this larger study settles the question: Gingko simply doesn't improve cognitive performance with MS patients."
About half of MS patients develop cognitive and memory problems, noted Dr. Dennis Bourdette, a co-author of the study and co-director of the VA MS Center of Excellence-West at the Portland VA Medical Center.
There is no treatment that can improve cognition in MS patients, which is why researchers had hoped that Gingko could help.
The study was funded, in part, by a grant from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Rehabilitation Research and Development Service.
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Gingko biloba has been found to offer no benefit to MS patients who take the supplement for cognitive problems.
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2012-35-18
Tuesday, 18 Sep 2012 11:35 AM
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