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Adding the Forest to the Pharmacy. How the Leading Herb Helps the Leading Drug Fight Alzheimer’s.

Conventional treatments for Alzheimer’s disease are limited in their effectiveness. But what happens when you add the leading herb for Alzheimer’s to the leading drug for Alzheimer’s?


Acetylcholinesterase inhibitors, like donepezil, are a leading class of drugs for Alzheimer’s. Ginkgo biloba is a leading herb for Alzheimer’s. Could adding ginkgo to donepezil work better than the drug alone?


That’s what a new meta-analysis set out to see. It included 18 controlled studies of people with dementia who took donepezil alone or donepezil plus ginkgo.


The results showed that the clinical effectiveness of treatment is significantly better when ginkgo is added. It found that on the Mini-Mental State Examination, a measure of cognitive impairment, the group that added ginkgo had significantly higher scores. The same was true on the Hasegawa Dementia Scale where the group that added ginkgo had significantly better scores than the group taking only donepezil. The ginkgo added group also had significantly better vocabulary memory than the donepezil only group on the Montreal Cognitive Assessment.


Adding ginkgo to donepezil also led to significantly better scores on the Activity of Daily Living Scale.


This important study establishes that adding Ginkgo biloba to donepezil leads to significantly greater improvements in cognition and activities of daily living than taking donepezil alone.


Front Aging Neurosci. 2023;15:1124710.

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