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Keywords:

  • dementia;
  • Alzheimer's disease;
  • vascular dementia;
  • Ginkgo biloba;
  • EGb 761;
  • randomized controlled trial

Abstract

Objective

To test the efficacy and safety of a once-daily formulation of EGb 761 in the treatment of patients with dementia with neuropsychiatric features.

Methods

Multi-centre trial of 410 outpatients with mild to moderate dementia (Alzheimer's disease, vascular dementia or mixed form) scoring between 9 and 23 on the SKT cognitive test battery, at least five on the Neuropsychiatric Inventory (NPI) and three or higher in at least one item of the NPI. Patients were randomly allocated to double-blind treatment with 240 mg of EGb 761 or placebo once daily for 24 weeks. Primary outcomes were the changes from baseline in the SKT total score and the NPI total score. The Alzheimer's Disease Cooperative Study Clinical Global Impression of Change (ADCS-CGIC), Activities of Daily Living International Scale (ADL-IS), NPI distress score, DEMQOL-Proxy quality-of-life scale and Verbal Fluency Test were secondary outcomes.

Results

At endpoint, patients treated with EGb 761 (n = 202) improved by −1.4 (95% confidence interval −1.8; −1.0) points on the SKT and by −3.2 (−4.0; −2.3) on the NPI total score, whereas those receiving placebo (n = 202) deteriorated by +0.3 (−0.1; 0.7) on the SKT and did not change on the NPI total score (−0.9; 0.9). Both drug-placebo comparisons were significant at p < 0.001. EGb 761 was significantly superior to placebo with respect to all secondary outcome measures. Adverse event rates were similar for both treatment groups.

Conclusions

EGb 761, 240 mg once-daily, was found significantly superior to placebo in the treatment of patients with dementia with neuropsychiatric symptoms. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.