The efficacy of the ginkgo biloba special extract EGb 761 in outpatients with presenile and senile primary degenerative dementia of the Alzheimer type (DAT) and multi-infarct dementia (MID) according to DSM-III-R was investigated in a prospective, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multi-center study. After a 4-week run-in period, 216 patients were included in the randomized 24-week treatment period. These received either a daily oral dose of 240 mg EGb 761 or placebo. In accordance with the recommended multi-dimensional evaluation approach, three primary variables were chosen: the Clinical Global Impressions (CGI Item 2) for psychopathological assessment, the Syndrom-Kurztest (SKT) for the assessment of the patient's attention and memory, and the Nürnberger Alters-Beobachtungsskala (NAB) for behavioral assessment of activities of daily life. Clinical efficacy was assessed by means of a responder analysis, with therapy response being defined as response in at least two of the three primary variables. The data from the 156 patients who completed the study in accordance with the study protocol were taken into account in the confirmatory analysis of valid cases. The frequency of therapy responders in the two treatment groups differed significantly in favor of EGb 761, with p < 0.005 in Fisher's Exact Test. The intent-to-treat analysis of 205 patients led to similar efficacy results. Thus, the clinical efficacy of the ginkgo biloba special extract EGb 761 in dementia of the Alzheimer type and multi-infarct dementia was confirmed. The investigational drug was found to be well tolerated.