Monday, January 5, 2009

Good News, Bad News on Alzheimer's Prevention

Psychiatric News
Clinical & Research News

Joan Arehart-Treichel
If avoiding Alzheimer's is one of your priorities, you might consider discarding your ginkgo tablets and enrolling in a continuing medical education course.

Many Americans believe that use of the herb Ginkgo biloba can help stave off development of Alzheimer's disease. However, results from a large clinical trial are sure to disappoint ginkgo proponents.

The trial, headed by Steven DeKosky, M.D., of the University of Virginia and a leading Alzheimer's scientist, was conducted at five academic medical centers throughout the United States. It included more than 3,000 community volunteers aged 75 or older with either normal cognition or mild cognitive impairment. It used a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind design.
Half the subjects took 120 mg of ginkgo twice a day, and half took a placebo twice a day. Subjects were evaluated every six months for dementia over the following six years. At the end of the six years, 523 subjects had developed dementia—277 in the ginkgo group and 246 in the placebo group.

Moreover, when the researchers looked to see the whole article

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