The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog ran from 2006 to 2016 and was intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

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    Ginkgo delays progression to dementia

    But only if you remember to take it.

    That’s the conclusion from researchers at the Oregon Health & Science University in Portland.

    First, the details.

    • 118 cognitively sound individuals were randomly assigned to standardized ginkgo biloba extract (GBE) or placebo.
    • Treatment lasted for 42 months.
    • The researchers and patients did not know which treatment was given (double-blinded).

    And, the results.

    • The results from all patients who started the study showed no reduction in the risk of progression of cognitive (reasoning) impairment.
    • However, those who took all their doses of GBE had a significantly lower risk of progression and a smaller decline in memory scores.
    • There were significantly more ischemic strokes associated with GBE treatment.

    The bottom line?
    “Previous clincial trials in Germany and France reported that ginkgo biloba produced long-term improvements in cognitive function in older adults with dementia,” according to an article in Food Quality News. “But, a study from Stanford University reported no benefits with ginkgo in healthy, non-demented older adults.”

    Perhaps the secret to success is to select a reputable brand and take it.

    The authors recommended that the greater incidence of “stroke and TIA [transient ischemic attack] cases observed among the GBE group requires further study to confirm.”

    2/28/08 18:04 JR

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