Extract of Ginkgo biloba treatment for tardive dyskinesia in schizophrenia: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial

J Clin Psychiatry. 2011 May;72(5):615-21. doi: 10.4088/JCP.09m05125yel. Epub 2010 Sep 21.


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.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antipsychotic Agents / adverse effects
  • Antipsychotic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Ginkgo biloba*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Movement Disorders / drug therapy*
  • Phytotherapy*
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use*
  • Schizophrenia / drug therapy*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Antipsychotic Agents
  • Plant Extracts
  • Ginkgo biloba extract

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT00672373