[The effect of Ginkgo biloba extract in patients with intermittent claudication].


Drabaek H, Petersen JR, Winberg N, Hansen KF, Mehlsen J




Ugeskr Laeger


Eighteen patients with stable intermittent claudication were randomized in a double blind cross-over study comparing the effects of the Ginkgo biloba extract GB-8 at a dose of 120 mg o.d. with placebo. All patients were treated for three months with the active extract and three months with placebo. The effects of treatment on arterial insufficiency were quantified by measurements of systemic and peripheral systolic blood pressures, and pain-free and maximal walking distances on a tread-mill. Questionnaires based on visual analogue scales were used to quantify the severity of leg pain, impairment of concentration, and inability to remember. Short-term memory was objectively assessed. We did not find any significant changes in either peripheral blood pressures, walking distances or the severity of leg pain. Systemic blood pressure was reduced both by placebo and GB-8. The impairment of concentration and the inability to remember were both reduced, when comparing results during active treatment to placebo. Short-term memory did not change significantly. In conclusion, our study has shown that treatment with the Ginkgo biloba extract GB-8 improves some cognitive functions in elderly patients with moderate arterial insufficiency, whereas the extract did not change signs and symptoms of vascular disease in the patients.