Background: Mental disorders are the most common health problems in the worldwide population. Current medicines against these conditions have undesired side effects or limited effectiveness. These disadvantageous pharmacological and therapeutic characteristics provoke a low adherence to treatment in an important percentage of patients with mental disorders. Since ancient times, ethnically different groups have been using plants extracts as medicines for the treatment of mental conditions including dementia, depression and anxiety disorders. Among them are extracts of Ginkgo biloba, a tree in the division Gingophyta, that has been used by millions of people worldwide.
Objective: This review aims to discuss current scientific evidence of efficacy, neuroprotective and antioxidant effects as mechanism of action, side effects and potential interaction with other commonly prescribed anxiolytic drugs.
Methods: A PubMed search of preclinical studies as well as individual clinical trials and meta-analysis were scrutinized.
Results: Various preclinical and clinical studies have shown a positive effect of Ginkgo biloba to improve cognitive abilities in impaired individuals and reducing anxiety under pathological conditions.
Conclusion: A more advanced clinical research is needed to confirm the efficacy of Gingko biloba for the treatment of anxiety in different health conditions.
Keywords: Alzheimer; Anxiety; medicinal plants; neurodegeneration; neuroinflammation; oxidative stress.
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