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Hamid Jafari, *Ali Nazeri Astaneh, Omid Rezaei, Behrooz Dolatshahi, and Sahel Hemmati Garakani


Background: Recent human and animal studies have presented new evidences on beneficial effects of some herbs on improving cognitive function. The present study aimed to assess therapeutic effects of Ginkgo biloba on cognitive function in hospitalized schizophrenic patients. Methods: This randomized double-blinded controlled trial was conducted on 40 consecutive patients with the diagnosis of schizophrenia who were hospitalized in rehabilitation wards at Razi Psychiatric center in Tehran in 2014. The study subjects were randomly assigned to two groups receiving Ginkgo biloba extract (120 mg/day) or placebo for three months. On admission and also after completing treatment protocol, neurobehavioral cognitive status was assessed using the NCSE tool in both groups. Results: Among eight aspects of cognitive ability including attention, perception, repetition, naming, visual memory, short memory, similarities and judgment, our study showed significant improvement in the components of perceptual skill, short memory, and reasoning following treatment with this herb when compared to the placebo group. Regarding drug-related side effects, 10% of treated patients suffered gastrointestinal complications such as nausea and gastric pain led to discontinuing the treatment protocol in these patients. Conclusion: Significant improvement is expectable in some aspects of neurobehavioral cognitive status including perceptual skill, short memory, and reasoning by administrating Ginkgo Biloba extract. However, administrating the drug with the maximal effective dose and achieving minimal side effects should be considered.

Keywords: perceptual skill, short memory, and reasoning, Ginkgo biloba extract.

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