While dementia has no known cure, some experts believe that a certain plant supplement could help those diagnosed with a mild form of dementia.
Dementia is an umbrella term given to a group of symptoms that are linked to ongoing cognitive decline. There are four main types of dementia:
- Alzheimer’s disease
- vascular dementia,
- Lewy body dementia
- frontotemporal dementia
Early symptoms commonly affecting sufferers include memory loss, difficulty concentrating, and confusion regarding time and place.
There are a few things that you can do to help reduce the risk of developing dementia such as being active, eating a healthy diet, not smoking or drinking much alcohol but there is also research pointing to the supplement Ginkgo biloba to improve memory in those with early onset dementia.
Ginkgo has been repeatedly evaluated for its ability to reduce anxiety, stress and other symptoms associated with Alzheimer’s disease and cognitive decline associated with aging.
Overall, research results could be described as inconsistent however some studies show a marked reduction in the rate of cognitive decline in people with dementia using ginkgo.
A study by German researchers, published in the journal Pharmacopsychiatry found patients with mild to moderate dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease, who took 240mg of ginkgo a day for six months had better memory and cognitive function than those taking a placebo.
published in 2000 also discovered healthy adults taking 180mg of gingko for six weeks had faster processing skills and improved memory function.
A review of 21 studies revealed that when used in conjunction with conventional medicine, ginkgo extract may increase functional capabilities in those with mild Alzheimer’s.
Another review evaluated four studies and found a significant reduction in a spectrum of symptoms associated with dementia when ginkgo was used for 22–24 weeks.
These positive results could be related to the role that ginkgo may play in improving blood flow to the brain, especially as it relates to vascular types of dementia.
Overall, it’s too soon to definitively state ginkgo’s role in treating dementia, but recent research is beginning to make things clearer.
A healthy balanced diet is the best way to consume all the nutrients we need. Sometimes however this isn't possible and then supplements can help. This article isn't intended to replace medical advice. Please consult your healthcare professional before trying any supplements or herbal medicines.