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Study: Ginkgo biloba ineffective in curbing cognitive failure

Category: General Health

To the disappointment of many who have relied on ginkgo biloba supplements to keep their mind's sharp, recent research has suggested that the herb may not prevent dementia and Alzheimer's disease or curb the cognitive decline associated with aging.

In the latest study, a team of researchers led by Dr Steven DeKosky, vice president and dean of the School of Medicine at the University of Virginia, tracked the cognitive function of more than 3,000 people between the ages of 72 and 96, half of whom took two 120-milligram ginkgo pills each day, reports.

After six years, the scientists found no measurable differences in attention, memory or other cognitive performance between the ginkgo group and the control group, according to the study reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Dr Joshua Steinerman of Montefiore Medical Center told CNN that smaller early studies showed a link between the herb and cognitive improvement. However, "more recent studies are large and well controlled, and have showed no consistent positive effect on slowing the rate of cognitive decline," he added.

According to the National Institutes of Health, some patients who express symptoms of cognitive decline opt to take a genetic test to confirm or deny the presence of the high-risk Alzheimer's gene.

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