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The Benefits of Gingko For MS Patients

You may recall an article I posted last year about British researchers launching a study to measure the effectiveness of ginkgo to treat dementia. Although no results have been released yet, it's hard to imagine the news will be anything but good, especially considering the findings of a new study by scientists at Oregon Health & Science University School of Medicine's Department of Neurology and the school's MS (multiple sclerosis) Center of Oregon.

Based on a 39-patient trial (20 receiving ginkgo biloba), Oregon researchers found ginkgo improved the attention spans of MS patients who suffer from cognitive impairment, and with minimal side effects.

Even though there were no differences on baseline performances in a battery of neuropsychological tests among the two groups, patients taking ginkgo scored some 13 percent better on what's called a "Stroop" test (a color/word test that measures attention as well as planning, decision making and controlling goal-directed behaviors). Researchers reported the differences in results from the Stroop test would be comparable to variances in scores between healthy people ages 30-39 and those 20 years older.

The use of ginkgo certainly seems to be rising. A recent survey found 20 percent of some 1,900 Oregon patients reported using ginkgo and 39 percent found it to be beneficial.

Good to know there's another natural treatment for MS that further reduces any temptation for you to even consider taking a toxic drug.

Oregon Health & Science University April 27, 2005

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