To evaluate the efficacy and safety of Ginkgo biloba extract (GBE) in acute ischaemic stroke and its impact on the recurrence of vascular events.
We conducted a multicentre, prospective, randomised, open label, blinded, controlled clinical trial enrollingpatients with an onset of acute stroke within 7 days from five hospitals in China Jiangsu Province. Participants were assigned to the GBE group (450 mg GBE with 100 mg aspirin daily) or the control group (100 mg aspirin daily) for 6 months. The primary outcome was the decline in the Montreal Cognitive Assessment score at 6 months. Secondary outcomes were other neuropsychological tests of cognitive and neurological function, the the incidence of adverse events and vascular events.
348 patients were enrolled: 179 in the GBE group and 169 in the control group. With 18 patients lost to follow-up, the dropout rate was 5.17%. Admission data between two groups were similar, but in the GBE group there was a marked slow down in the decline in the Montreal Cognitive Assessment scores (-2.77±0.21 vs -1.99±0.23, P=0.0116 (30 days); -3.34±0.24 vs -2.48±0.26, P=0.0165 (90 days); -4.00±0.26 vs -2.71±0.26, P=0.0004 (180 days)) compared with controls. The National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale scores at 12 and 30 days, the modified Rankin Scale scores for independent rate at 30, 90 and 180 days, and the Barthel Index scores at 30, 90 and 180 days in the GBE group were significantly improved compared with controls. Improvements were also observedin GBE groups for Mini-Metal State Examination scores of 30, 90 and 180 days, Webster's digit symbol test scores at 30 days and Executive Dysfunction Index scores at 30 and 180 days. No significant differences were seen in the incidence of adverse events or vascular events.
We conclude that GBE in combination with aspirin treatment alleviated cognitive and neurological deficits after acute ischaemic stroke without increasing the incidence of vascular events.