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Numerous clinical trials have examined treatment options for dementia. These include:
However, to date there are no alternative treatments that can prevent, treat, reverse, or cure dementia.
Gingko biloba, or ginkgo tree leaves, is one of the most researched alternative treatments for dementia and AD. But so far the results are not convincing.
The largest study that examined ginkgo’s effect on dementia and AD was the Ginkgo Evaluation of Memory (GEM) study. Here, more than 3,000 volunteers, age 75 and older, took ginkgo on a daily basis.
Yet, the researchers found ginkgo did not lower the overall rate of dementia and AD in the elderly. Ginkgo also did not slow mental decline.
The National Institute on Aging (NIA) sponsored another trial. It found that ginkgo taken daily for six weeks did not improve the memory among 200-plus healthy adults over age 60.
Ginkgo is relatively safe when taken the right way. But like any herb it can have side effects and not be right for everyone. Here are some precautions from the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM):
Read Alzheimer’s Disease Prevention for information on how various strategies and lifestyle choices, such as diet, exercise, and social engagement, may reduce your risk for developing dementia.
Written by: Wendy Leonard, MPH
Medically reviewed : Jennifer Monti, MPH, MD
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