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Ginkgo biloba Extract in Alzheimer’s Disease: From Action Mechanisms to Medical Practice
Department of Anatomy, Zhongshan School of Medicine, Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou, Guangdong 510080, China
Department of Anatomy, the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, N.T., Hong Kong, China
Department of Neurology, the Second Affiliated Hospital, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, Guangdong 510120, China
These authors contributed equally to this work.
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 4 November 2009; in revised form: 31 December 2009 / Accepted: 1 January 2010 / Published: 8 January 2010
Abstract: Standardized extract from the leaves of the Ginkgo biloba tree, labeled EGb761, is one of the most popular herbal supplements. Numerous preclinical studies have shown the neuroprotective effects of EGb761 and support the notion that it may be effective in the treatment and prevention of neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Despite the preclinical promise, the clinical efficacy of this drug remains elusive. In this review, possible mechanisms underlying neuroprotective actions of EGb761 are described in detail, together with a brief discussion of the problem of studying this herb clinically to verify its efficacy in the treatment and prevention of AD. Moreover, various parameters e.g., the dosage and the permeability of the blood brain barrier (BBB), impacting the outcome of the clinical effectiveness of the extract are also discussed. Overall, the findings summarized in this review suggest that, a better understanding of the neuroprotective mechanisms of EGb761 may contribute to better understanding of the effectiveness and complexity of this herb and may also be helpful for design of therapeutic strategies in future clinical practice. Therefore, in future clinical studies, different factors that could interfere with the effect of EGb761 should be considered.
Keywords: Ginkgo biloba extract; AD; neuroprotection
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Shi, C.; Liu, J.; Wu, F.; Yew, D.T. Ginkgo biloba Extract in Alzheimer’s Disease: From Action Mechanisms to Medical Practice. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2010, 11, 107-123.
Shi C, Liu J, Wu F, Yew DT. Ginkgo biloba Extract in Alzheimer’s Disease: From Action Mechanisms to Medical Practice. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 2010; 11(1):107-123.
Shi, Chun; Liu, Jun; Wu, Fengming; Yew, David T. 2010. "Ginkgo biloba Extract in Alzheimer’s Disease: From Action Mechanisms to Medical Practice." Int. J. Mol. Sci. 11, no. 1: 107-123.