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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2013, Article ID 915691, 11 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/915691
Review Article

A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Ginkgo biloba in Neuropsychiatric Disorders: From Ancient Tradition to Modern-Day Medicine

1Department of Brain and Behavioral Sciences, Section of Psychiatry, University of Pavia, Via Bassi 21, 27100 Pavia, Italy
2Biometric and Statistical Unit, Fondazione IRCCS Policlinico San Matteo, Viale Golgi 2, 27100 Pavia, Italy
3Department of Public Health, Neuroscience, Experimental and Forensic Medicine, Section of Psychiatry, University of Pavia, Via Bassi 21, 27100 Pavia, Italy
4Psychology Institute, Ruhr-University Bochum, Universitätsstraße 150, 44801 Bochum, Germany

Received 10 August 2012; Revised 25 February 2013; Accepted 24 March 2013

Academic Editor: Bernhard Uehleke

Copyright © 2013 Natascia Brondino et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Ginkgo biloba (Gb) has demonstrated antioxidant and vasoactive properties as well as clinical benefits in several conditions such as ischemia, epilepsy, and peripheral nerve damage. Additionally, Gb is supposed to act as potential cognitive enhancer in dementia. So far, several trials have been conducted to investigate the potential effectiveness of Gb in neuropsychiatric conditions. However, the results of these studies remain controversial. We conducted a systematic review and a meta-analysis of three randomised controlled trials in patients with schizophrenia and eight randomised controlled trials in patients with dementia. Gb treatment reduced positive symptoms in patients with schizophrenia and improved cognitive function and activities of daily living in patients with dementia. No effect of Gb on negative symptoms in schizophrenic patients was found. The general lack of evidence prevents drawing conclusions regarding Gb effectiveness in other neuropsychiatric conditions (i.e., autism, depression, anxiety, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, and addiction). Our data support the use of Gb in patients with dementia and as an adjunctive therapy in schizophrenic patients.