Ginkgo Biloba to Improve Short-Term Memory Losses Associated With Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT)

2014-08-27 03:54:52 | BioPortfolio


Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is an effective treatment for severe or medication-resistant depression and other psychiatric disorders. A common side effect of ECT is problems with short-term memory during treatment. This study will test whether taking ginkgo biloba (GB) prior to and during the course of ECT will lessen the effects of ECT on short-term memory.


ECT is a safe and effective modern treatment for severe depression and other psychiatric conditions. An estimated 100,000 treatments occur per year in the United States. ECT's most bothersome adverse effect is memory loss, with all patients receiving ECT experiencing some degree of short-term cognitive impairment. At present there are no known effective pharmacologic treatments to prevent or improve ECT-induced cognitive dysfunction. Preliminary research has shown the herbal preparation GB aids cognitive function and memory in both patients with dementia and in normal volunteers. This study will investigate the utility and safety of GB to minimize the cognitive impairment typically associated with ECT.

Participants in this study will be randomly assigned to receive either twice-daily GB or placebo. Participants will begin taking GB or placebo as soon as consent is obtained and baseline testing is completed in order to reach steady-state plasma levels of GB prior to ECT. Patients will undergo cognitive testing at specified intervals following ECT. The final study visit will occur one week after a participant's final ECT treatment.

Study Design

Allocation: Randomized, Control: Placebo Control, Endpoint Classification: Safety/Efficacy Study, Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment, Masking: Double Blind (Subject, Outcomes Assessor), Primary Purpose: Prevention


Memory, Short-Term


ginkgo biloba, matched placebo


UMDNJ - NJ Medical School
New Jersey
United States




National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM)

Results (where available)

View Results


Published on BioPortfolio: 2014-08-27T03:54:52-0400

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