Examining brain-cognition effects of Ginkgo Biloba extract: brain activation in the left temporal and left prefrontal cortex in an object working memory task
Ginkgo Biloba extract (GBE) is increasingly used to alleviate symptoms of age related cognitive impairment, with preclinical evidence pointing to a pro-cholinergic effect. While a number of behavioral studies have reported improvements to working memory (WM) associated with GBE, electrophysiological studies of GBE have typically been limited to recordings during a resting state. The current study investigated the chronic effects of GBE on steady state visually evoked potential (SSVEP) topography in nineteen healthy middle-aged (50-61 year old) male participants whilst completing an object WM task. A randomized double-blind crossover design was employed in which participants were allocated to receive 14 days GBE and 14 days placebo in random order. For both groups, SSVEP was recorded from 64 scalp electrode sites during the completion of an object WM task both pre- and 14 days post-treatment. GBE was found to improve behavioural performance on the WM task. GBE was also found to increase the SSVEP amplitude at occipital and frontal sites and increase SSVEP latency at left temporal and left frontal sites during the hold component of the WM task. These SSVEP changes associated with GBE may represent more efficient processing during WM task completion.
Silberstein, R. B., Pipingas, A., Song, J., Camfield, D. A., Nathan, P. J. & Stough, C. (2011). Examining brain-cognition effects of Ginkgo Biloba extract: brain activation in the left temporal and left prefrontal cortex in an object working memory task. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2011 164139-1-164139-10.