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Ginkgo may slow memory decline in 'oldest old'

May 22, 2008

     The popular herb ginkgo biloba may help slow memory loss in even the oldest elderly, provided they take the supplement regularly, a new study shows. In the study of 118 adults age 85 and older, researchers found that those who were randomly assigned to take Ginkgo extract -- and stuck with the regimen -- showed less memory loss over three years.

     The findings suggest that "ginkgo biloba supplements may protect against a decline in memory function among individuals 85 years and older," lead researcher Dr. Hiroko Dodge, of Oregon State University in Corvallis stated in an interview with Reuters Health. Larger prevention studies using the herb are currently underway in the U.S. and Europe. The study is published online ahead of print in the journal Neurology.