Evidence Based Snapshots

The Journal of Informed Pharmacotherapy 2002;11:151.  

Ginkgo for Memory Enhancement

Reviewer: James McCormack, B.Sc. (Pharm), Pharm. D.
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Reviewer's profession/specialty:
Associate Editor, Journal of Informed Pharmacotherapy

Original Citation

Solomon PR, Adams F, Silver A, Zimmer J, DeVeayx R. Ginkgo for memory enhancement - a randomised controlled trial. JAMA 2002;288:835-40. Pubmed Citation

Overall Study Question

These investigators looked to determine whether or not ginkgo improves memory in the elderly.


230 community dwelling volunteers in generally good health. Their average age was 68 (range 60-82)and 59% were female.


Patients were randomized to receive either placebo or ginkgo 40 mg orally three times daily for 6 weeks.  Outcome measures consisted of 14 tests of learning and memory, attention and concentration, expressive language, and a memory questionnaire. In addition, a global evaluation by spouse, relative or friend was conducted.


The duration of follow up was 6 weeks.


None of the differences between the groups were statistically different. Of the 14 tests, seven of the point estimates favoured ginkgo and seven favoured placebo.

Other Results

There was no monitoring of adverse effects.

How does this study contribute to the drug therapy of memory in the elderly?

This study suggests that ginkgo at a dose of 40 mg orally three times daily for 6 weeks does not enhance memory in otherwise healthy elderly adults.  Drug-associated adverse effects with this regimen was not assessed.

Copyright © 2002 by the Journal of Informed Pharmacotherapy. All rights reserved.