LSUHSC: Ginkgo doesn't help brain in MS patients

Sep 17, 2012

A study at LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans has found that the popular dietary supplement ginkgo biloba doesn't improve mental function in patients with multiple sclerosis.

Neurologist Jesus Lovera did the study on 120 people because an earlier, smaller study had seemed promising. Ginkgo is taken by many people who have the disease, which attacks the myelin that insulates nerve fibers. About 40 to 60 percent of multiple sclerosis patients develop problems with memory or other cognitive functions.

The study was published in the journal Neurology on Sept. 5. That same day, the British journal Lancet Neurology published the largest European study of whether the herb wards off Alzheimer's disease. The French study of more than 2,800 people did not find any evidence that it is effective.