Objective: Free radicals may be involved in the pathogenesis of tardive dyskinesia (TD). Extract of Ginkgo biloba (EGb) is a potent antioxidant possessing free radical-scavenging activities. The aim of the study was to evaluate the efficacy of EGb-761, a standardized extract given in capsule form, in treating TD in schizophrenia patients.
Method: Inpatients with DSM-IV-diagnosed schizophrenia and TD (n = 157) in a mainland China Veterans Affairs psychiatric hospital were randomly assigned to 12 weeks of treatment with either EGb-761, 240 mg/d (n = 78) or a placebo (n = 79) in a double-blind manner. Primary outcome measures were (1) change from baseline in the Abnormal Involuntary Movement Scale (AIMS) score and (2) proportion of patients with a ≥ 30% reduction in their AIMS total score at week 12. Secondary outcome measures included the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) and cognitive performance as measured by the Continuous Performance Test-37 Version and the 3-card Stroop task. Patients were recruited for the study between December 2006 and May 2007.
Results: Of the 157 patients who were randomly assigned, 152 (96.8%) completed the study. EGb-761 treatment significantly decreased the AIMS total score in patients with TD compared to those who were given a placebo (2.13 ± 1.75 vs -0.10 ± 1.69; P < .0001), with 40 (51.3%) and 4 (5.1%) patients achieving response in the EGb-761 and placebo treatment groups, respectively. There were no between-group differences in the PANSS total score or cognitive measures from baseline to week 12.
Conclusions: EGb-761 appears to be an effective treatment for reducing the symptoms of TD in schizophrenia patients, and improvement may be mediated through the well-known antioxidant activity of this extract.
Trial registration: clinicaltrials.gov identifier: NCT00672373.
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