Tardive dyskinesia is a disorder that involves involuntary movements, especially of the lower face.
Researchers at Peking University, in Beijing, China studied the value of EGb-761, a standardized extract given in capsule form, in patients with schizophrenia.
First, the details.
157 patients were randomly assigned to a treatment group for 12 weeks.
EGb-761, 240 mg/day
Changes in the Abnormal Involuntary Movement Scale (AIMS) score and the proportion of patients with at least a 30% reduction in their AIMS total score were measured.
In addition, changes in symptoms and cognitive performance (reasoning) were recorded.
Neither the patients nor researchers knew the treatment given — double blind.
And, the results.
EGb-761 treatment significantly decreased the AIMS total score vs placebo, with 51% vs 5% of patients responding, respectively.
There were no differences between treatments in symptoms and cognitive performance.
The bottom line?
The authors concluded, “EGb-761 appears to be an effective treatment for reducing the symptoms of tardive dyskinesia in schizophrenia patients.”
“Improvement may be mediated through the well-known antioxidant activity of this extract,” say the authors.
The results are important because, in the US alone, it’s estimated that tardive dyskinesia affects 2 million schizophrenia patients taking neuroleptic medications to manage symptoms. Despite this, there is still an absence effective for tardive dyskinesia in people taking neuroleptics.
John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at www.Vicus.com, a complementary and alternative medicine website.