Ginkgo biloba fails drug test

The herb fares no better than placebos in preventing Alzheimer’s disease

By Nathan Seppa, 14:39 PM November 18, 2008

The supplement Ginkgo biloba has failed to ward off Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia any better than a placebo in a long-term trial, researchers report in the Nov. 19 Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

“This is tremendously disappointing,” says study coauthor Steven DeKosky, a neurologist at the University of Virginia School of Medicine in Charlottesville.

DeKosky has good reason to feel let down. In earlier laboratory tests, ginkgo extract showed an abilit...

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