Schizophrenia Blog

Latest News on Ginkgo Biloba and Schizophrenia

Oct 29, 2013, 6:36 pm

The ability of ginkgo biloba  to reduce the symptoms of schizophrenia, has been the subject of many studies. The hypothesis being tested in these studies is usually that antipsychotics and ginkgo biloba together, are better at relieving the symptoms of schizophrenia, than antipsychotics alone. Shortly the results of a fresh study designed to test this hypothesis will be released, so I thought that this might be a good time to review the results so far. 
As you will see from the table below, the results to date have been very promising. All have showed a statistically relevant reduction in symptoms can be achieved by adding ginkgo biloba to treatment with antipsychotics. Below I have tried to put matters into perspective by placing the studies into a table listing 1. the name of study (using the name of the doctor involved), 2. the year of the study,  3 the number of patients involved 4. the type of antipsychotic paired with the gingko biloba and 5. the result or conclusion of the study (using the exact words from the extract of the study tself). If you would like to see the actual extract of the study I have linked these to the doctors name, so click away for more information!

I hope that this helps you to assess the possible benefits of Gingko Biloba and  to see why ginkgo biloba is a core ingredient in SBX.


Studies on Ginkgo Biloba as a Complementary Treatment for Schizophrenia
Doctor Year patient
Antipsychotic Results
 Fanqiang  1996 36 Ginko Biloba
Clinically effective for reducing the negative symptoms of schizophrenia
 Luo  1997 545 Various Neuroleptics Combining neuroleptics, was an effective medicine for chronic schizophrenics. Moreover, it appeared few side-effects within the recommended dose range
 Zhang  2001 109 Haloperidol (typical) Ginkgo treatment may enhance the effectiveness of antipsychotic drugs and reduce their extrapyramidal side effects
 Atmaca  2005 29 Olanzapine (atypical aka Zyprexa) Might enhance the efficiency of antipsychotic in patients with schizophrenia, particularly on positive symptoms of the disorder
 Doruk  2008  42 Clozapine (atypical) Useful for enhancing the effect of clozapine on negative symptoms in patients with treatment-resistant schizophrenia
 Zhang  2013  200 Risperidone (atypical)  To be announced

If you look at the table above which sets out the various studies I think that a number of features will strike you. Firstly, no studies yielded a negative or neutral result. All studies suggested that positive and/or negative symptoms can be further reduced by adding ginkgo biloba to treatment with antipsychotics. Now you might be tempted to believe that the deck has been stacked by only disclosing those studies that suggest a positive benefit and leaving out those that don't, but we have researched and included every study we can find. I would also draw your attention to a review published in The International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology in 2010. It attempted to draw together all of the high quality research on this subject. you can find it here. Its conclusion:
Ginkgo as an add-on therapy to antipsychotic medication produced statistically significant moderate improvement (SMD=-0.50) in total and negative symptoms of chronic schizophrenia. Ginkgo as add-on therapy ameliorates the symptoms of chronic schizophrenia".  

Secondly these studies involved a wide array of antipsychotics which included both typical (the first generation) and atypical (the second generation) of antipsychotics. They have been conducted over a relatively long period of time at western standards sufficient to have them reported in the databases of medical information such as the US National Library of Medicines  National Institute of Health. It therefore appears that the benefits of adding ginkgo biloba may be universal with all antipsychotics.  

Thirdly the studies have shown that the addition of ginkgo biloba leads to improvements in positive symptoms, negative symptoms, and even a reduction in side affects of antipsychotics.  

Fourthly with a body of evidence all pointing to the positive benefits of ginkgo biloba in studies stretching over such a long period of time, there has been no move to conduct a conclusive study - why? 

In my opinion there are 3 reasons:
1. It is because ginkgo biloba does not provide a complete solution to the problem of schizophrenia. We live in a world where we want a pill to fix the problem and something that provides a "significant moderate improvement" is bypassed to continue the search for a quicker more total fix.

2. Ginkgo biloba is a relatively common and easily accessible ingredient. There is not a lot of money to be made from it. Studies cost money and there is simply nobody willing to fund a bigger study than the ones that have already been conducted.

3. "Alternative medicine"  does not sit well with western doctors. It is my opinion that they feel that they would be to some degree betraying their credentials if they were to recommend a traditional Chinese medicine. They may also be concerned that they could open themselves up to criticism.
The result is that it is up to you to do your own research and to make up your own mind. We have tried to make this easier for you, but as with many of the ingredients in SBX, you will not receive conclusive proof that it works.
It is my belief that ginkgo biloba, other Antioxidants, B vitamins and other ingredients in SBX should work. I practiced as a lawyer for almost 20 years and I would say that if gingko biloba together with an antipsychotics was accused of being able to reduce the symptoms of schizophrenia, I would have been able to get a conviction. The proposition is in my mind, beyond reasonable doubt.    


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