Although studies investigating the effects of G. biloba in cerebral insufficiency, a syndrome that is often characterised by depression, have shown positive results, no clinical studies are available that have investigated its use in clinical depression.
One randomised, double-blind placebo-controlled study has investigated its effects in seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Ginkgo biloba extract PN246, in tablet form (Bio-Biloba), was tested in 27 patients with SAD over 10 weeks or until they developed symptoms, starting in a symptom-free phase about 1 month before symptoms were expected. In this trial, G. biloba failed to prevent the development of SAD (Lingaerde et al 1999).
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More recently, Cleza et al (2003) tested EGb 761 (240 mg/day) on the subjective emotional well-being of healthy older subjects (50-65 years) in a randomised, double-blind study. Ginkgo treatment produced a statistically significant difference for the VAS mental health and for QOL, as well as for the Subjective Intensity Score Mood in week 2 compared with placebo. At the end of the study, statistically significant improvement in the EGb 761 group was observed for the variables: depression, fatigue and anger.
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