Ginkgo Biloba May Be an Effective Tool in Treating ADHD

Although psychostimulants have been proven effective in treating certain core symptoms of ADHD, some patients find their side effects intolerable while still others continue to struggle with distractibility, restlessness and irritability.

With a growing literature supporting the effectiveness of herbal products to treat neuropsychiatric illnesses, Dr. Helmut Niederhofer conducted one of the first systematic, open label trials of ginkgo biloba in patients with ADD (aged 17 to 19; N=6). Gingko biloba extract (80 mg dose containing 9.6 mg Ginkgoflavonglycosides) was administered orally three times a day for four weeks. Patients were evaluated at baseline and one month following treatment using the 60-item Wender Utah Rating Scale.

Overall, ginkgo biloba was well tolerated. Two participants reported headache and stomachaches during the first two weeks; symptoms later disappeared for one patient and consisted of mild episodes for the other. Only minimal sedation was reported.

The study found large reductions in Wender scores for fidgeting, disruptive sounds, rigidity and anxiety. The ginkgo appeared to reduce hyperactivity; enhance frustration tolerance and affect modulation; and facilitate voluntary selective processes essential to wilful cognition and discriminant attention.

Based on these promising findings, the researcher believes ginkgo biloba could be an effective alternative and/or a helpful adjunct to psychopharmaceuticals in the treatment of ADHD.

from Psychiatric Times 28 May 09

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Note: very small sample, but then again the effects were quite large. BG.

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