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Ginkgo and memory loss

Posted by eric_oh 6a (My Page) on
Thu, Feb 28, 08 at 10:31

A new study suggests ginkgo supplementation is useful in preventing memory loss in old people, but there may be associated increased risk of stroke:

"Among 118 people 85 or older, those who took the supplement reliably had a 70% lower risk of developing mild memory problems than those who took a placebo, Hiroko Dodge, Ph.D., of Oregon State University here, and colleagues reported online in Neurology.

However there were six strokes and one TIA among those taking ginko and none in the placebo group."

More on the report here.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Ginkgo and memory loss

I just read a study that had the percentage at only around 40-something (but to MD's that's huge), but they still considered it inconclusive as the studies were not necessarily carried out in ideal conditions. However, that's still a better result, flaws and all, than most other alternatives come in at.


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RE: Ginkgo and memory loss

  • Posted by cacye Denver,CO (My Page) on
    Wed, Mar 19, 08 at 1:35

Question: does anyone kow what the risk those people had Before they took ginkgo? What was known about them as test subjects? Did the scientists use Chinese criteria for administering ginkgo,or just decide on a dose and did nothing but that? And it would be interesting to see what other herbs they took when they were in the study if any. Or drugs. There could be interactions involved. And 118 people is not what anyone would call a large or inclusive study. I would like to see how it was done, over what period of time, and what patient criteria were involved. I have seen no small number of badly done studies in my time.


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RE: Ginkgo and memory loss

It's a small study, which is why the authors are calling for larger-scale testing to determine if there are substantial enough benefits to justify whatever risks there are.

It's interesting that when there are reports of toxicity and injury from Chinese medicinal supplements in the West, we hear people suggesting that it's the fault of those administering/taking the medication. A more likely explanation for the uncovering of hazards associated with "traditional" meds is that they're being studied more rigorously now than in the past.


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RE: Ginkgo and memory loss

>> t's interesting that when there are reports of toxicity and injury from Chinese medicinal supplements in the West, we hear people suggesting that it's the fault of those administering/taking the medication. A more likely explanation for the uncovering of hazards associated with "traditional" meds is that they're being studied more rigorously now than in the past.

While I understand what you are saying and agree somewhat, it is also clear that many traditional systems do have embedded counter indications that are generally ignored when using western diagnosis/prescribing. For instance, a TCM practitioner would consider the 'constitution' of the patient when prescribing ginseng or some other anti-fatigue herb; this constitution could result in a very different population for a study than some other definition of fatigue.


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RE: Ginkgo and memory loss

"a TCM practitioner would consider the 'constitution' of the patient when prescribing ginseng or some other anti-fatigue herb"

This is something considered by any properly trained practitioner when prescribing a drug/herb. I wonder, though, how evidence-based this process is in a TCM practitioner.

Regardless, the problem of blaming the patient/victim when something goes wrong is not unique to Chinese medicine, or to alternative medicine as a whole. Even among advocates there is sometimes a casual "let the buyer beware" attitude that I find alarming.


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RE: Ginkgo and memory loss

I have been struggleing with the same problem for years now I started taking Procera Memory and it has really helped me out you can look at it here
http://peerfly.com/x/0/2680/29693/

Here is a link that might be useful: Procera memory


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