Search Strategy And Selection Criteria
The focus of our paper were plants used for the treatment of PD, and only plants tested in humans. As noted previously, plants with mechanisms of action beyond simply demonstrating antioxidant activities were selected.
The methodology for systematic reviews was modified and divided into a two stage process owing to the availability of references and the languages in which they are written. For the European plants, due to the lack of systematic databases on herbs traditionally used to treat PD, the first stage focused on hard-cover books published in Croatia and surrounding countries to prepare the list of herbs used in Europe, and the oldest book used was Gursky . For herbs used in Asia, the same strategy was used, although the unavailability of books published in English was a challenge. Most of the books which were referred for this review were published in either Sinhala or Tamil, which are two native languages of Sri Lanka. Nevertheless, in order to avoid translational errors and misinterpretations, occasional referencing of Sinhala and Tamil books for verification purposes was carried out while primary sourcing was done in books published in English.
Table 1. Bioactive compounds with neuroprotective effects isolated from European and Asian plants.
Ginkgo Increases Smooth Muscle Cells
The more smooth muscle cells you have, the better your erections.
Ginkgo can help you with that.
A study was done where they looked at the effect of Ginkgo on rats with erectile dysfunction.
They divided 43 rats into four groups and gave them different levels of Ginkgo: none, low, medium, and high.
The researchers found that there was a significant improvement in erectile function for the high dose group compared to the group that didnt get any Ginkgo.
The two in the middle responded in line with how much they were given.
Specifically, the study found that the rats that were given the most Ginkgo biloba had better smooth muscle development in the arteries leading to their penises, facilitating blood flow and trapping and thus making it easier for them to get hard.
The study also found that nitric oxide synthase improved with the high dose Ginkgo group, a finding reflected in other studies too
How Thc And Cbd Work
Cannabinoids from cannabis activate the ECS by binding to endocannabinoid receptors throughout the brain and body. The two most affected by cannabis are:
- CB1 receptors: Found in the brain in high levels, they are responsible for marijuanas psychoactive properties, or the high effect.
- CB2 receptors: Found throughout the body, they affect pain levels and inflammation.
THC strongly activates CB1 receptors, triggering a feeling of euphoria. This activation also increases blood flow to the prefrontal cortex of the brain, which is the area that controls the ability to focus, as well as our motor skills, attention, memory, and decision-making abilities.
THC also interacts with CB2 receptors, providing added analgesic , muscle relaxing, and antiemetic effects .
CBD activates both CB1 and CB2 receptors, although less strongly than THC. Although its CB1 and CB2 receptor activation does not produce a high, it has been shown to interact with additional receptors in the body and have calming and anti-inflammatory effects. For this reason, CBD has been used to treat pain, anxiety, and seizures.
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An Insight On Parkinsons
Before we start thinking of treatment methods, we need to understand the actual disease. Parkinsons is caused by nerve cell degenerations, preventing the brain from connecting with the body as it moves. Usually, you dont even notice the disease at first. Initial symptoms include stiffness, a weakness of a limb, or a faint trembling when youre resting your hand. Over time, these symptoms become more and more obvious, the tremors getting worse as they become full-on shaking of the limbs. At this point, you start to lose your movement, balance and coordination of your whole body.
It is not unusual to experience mental conditions such as cognitive problems or depression as a Parkinsons patient. While most of the time the disease is genetic, there are also certain factors that are said to increase the risk of Parkinsons, such as:
- Illegal drug use
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Ginkgo Biloba For Erections
Ive talked before how you can use Ginkgo Biloba for erections due to its ability to act as a natural inhibitor of PDE5.
But since then, there have been lots of questions around ginkgo , specifically, how it can be used as a natural treatment for erectile dysfunction.
So heres the definitive guide to how ginkgo can help you get it up.
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What Is Parkinsons Disease
Parkinsons disease is a devastating neurodegenerative diseasea condition that affects the nervous system and progressively gets worse over time. Parkinsons disease is debilitating and causes the affected person to be unable to control their movements. Parkinsons disease is a rare condition and doesnt often affect people under the age of 50. Men are more likely to develop Parkinsons disease than women. Parkinsons disease is such an awful condition to live with, it often produces emotional distresses such as anxiety and depression. People with advanced Parkinsons disease also begin to suffer cognitive decline and experience trouble processing thoughts or performing critical thinking.1,2 What Causes Parkinsons Disease?Parkinsons disease is caused when neurons in the brain start to break down and die off. Many of the neurons that die off are those that are responsible for producing dopaminethe neurotransmitter involved in mood and behavior. Other affected neurons are those that are responsible for physical muscle movements, leading to Parkinsons disease symptoms.1,2But what exactly triggers these neurons to weaken and die off is unknown. At this point, scientists have only identified certain risk factors that can contribute to Parkinsons disease, including:
- Genetics: Certain genetic mutations may put people at greater risk of developing Parkinsons.
- Environmental Factors: Exposure to environmental toxins may trigger Parkinsons disease.
Zebrafish Locomotion Behavioral Assay
Three hundred thirty wild-type AB zebrafish larvae at 4 days post fertilization were randomly divided into 9 experimental groups: vehicle control , n = 60) model positive control GBDP-treated and EGb 761-treated groups. The 500 g/mL dose was the maximum nonlethal concentration for both GBDP and EGb 761. Both GBDP and EGb 761 were dissolved in 10% DMSO. Zebrafish larvae in the GBDP- and EGb 761-treated groups were co-treated with 250 M 6-OHDA and various concentrations of GBDP or EGb 761 for 48 h. Positive control zebrafish larvae were treated with 250 M 6-OHDA and 1.5 g/mL nomifensine. At 6 dpf, 10 zebrafish were randomly selected in each group for behavioral monitoring using a digital video tracking system in a 96-well plate. The swimming pattern and total distance travelled were recorded over a period of 30 min.
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The Effectiveness Of Ginkgo Biloba
Since the reason of Parkinsons disease development is the degeneration of neurotransmitting cells, you would need something of an equal power to protect your brain against the degeneration. This is where ginkgo biloba comes in handy because it actually possesses such abilities. Studies show that ginkgo biloba can shield your brain from Parkinsons triggered by mercury poisoning, balancing the dopamine levels needed to protect you against the disease. It is said that ginkgo biloba has such great neuroprotective abilities simply because it has anti-apoptosis and anti-oxidant properties.
Ginkgo biloba is also said to inhibit the enzymes that metabolize the dopamine, which in turn aids in the creation of free radicals. This proves once more that this plant is a great help when it comes to Parkinsons.
Ginkgo May Improve Ssri Induced Sexual Dysfunction
Above I showed you just what Ginkgo can do for your erections.
But there is one more benefit of taking Ginkgo it might help with the sexual dysfunction caused by SSRIs.
Last week I talked about SSRIs and Erectile Dysfunction, specifically about the problem of Post-SSRI sexual dysfunction and the fact that it can last forquite a long while.
Ginkgo might be able to help.
A study from researchers at the University of California found that of 30 men studied, 74% reported that Ginkgo helped cure them of their PSSD.
Whats more, this number was even higher for women at 91%.
However, its not all good news.
Another study gave Ginkgo to six men and six women with PSSD and compared them to a placebo group and found no significant difference at 12 weeks for either sex.
And while these numbers are smaller, they were actually given more Ginkgo biloba then the people in the previous study .
That said, researchers did note:
There were some spectacular individual responses in both groups
So while its clear that Ginkgo is a superb supplement to help enhance erections, the jury is still out on whether it can cure SSRI-induced erectile dysfunction.
But if it were me and I was in a sexless relationship with post-SSRI, Id definitely give it a try, at the 120mg dosage used in the successful study.
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Common Side Effects People Have Besides Parkinson’s Disease *:
Ginkgo Biloba Reduces Oxidative Stress
First, ginkgo biloba reduces oxidative stress
Oxidative stress is an imbalance between free radicals in your body and your bodys ability to deal with them.
A bit of background:
Free radicals are oxygen molecules that dont have any electrons attached to them.
They go around and rip electrons from other stuff like DNA and protein molecules, which destabilizes those molecules, usually to their detriment.
For example, oxidative stress has been found to correlate with things like Alzheimers disease and Parkinsons disease.
Anyway, Ginkgo biloba has been found to reduce the free radicals found in cells, thus reducing oxidative stress.
And since oxidative stress has been linked to ED, by reducing it youll reduce penile oxidative stress .
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Randomization And Allocation Sequence
Participants were enrolled by dementia specialists. According to the diagnostic and exclusion criteria for PDD, 60 patients with PDD were enrolled and then randomly allocated into two groups. Third-party doctors who were not involved in participant enrollment, diagnosis and assessment were responsible for the random grouping and drug delivery. The third-party physicians generated random number sequence using SAS software for the participants with PDD. Then sealed envelopes with the serial number outside, group number and treatment allocations inside were produced, and kept in a locked drawer which was inaccessible to all the researchers. The envelopes were opened sequentially by the third-party physicians after baseline assessments, and participants were assigned to two groups equally according to the group number printed inside the envelopes. The subjects and their families and caregivers, evaluation personnel, and investigators were blinded to each patients group status and the distribution of experimental drugs.
Precautions With Ginkgo Biloba Use
Ginkgo is well tolerated. The most common side effects, which are mild, include gastric side effects, dizziness, mouth dryness, headaches, skin rashes.
These are usually rare, mild and transient in case you experience severe side effects, please discontinue the use of ginkgo.
Unprocessed ginkgo leaf extracts may contain allergens. Ginkgo nuts can cause toxicity.
Since ginkgolides inhibit the action of Platelet Activating Factor, the most common concern is its interaction with blood thinners like warfarin, coumadin and aspirin.
A few case reports have indicated the possibility of spontaneous bleeding when the concomitant use of ginkgo and blood thinners.
But these effects have not been observed in clinical trials.
Ginkgo supplements should be discontinued two weeks before surgery.
The safety of ginkgo supplements in pregnancy and lactation is not ascertained yet.
It should not be combined with other herbs that have an anti-platelet activity such as feverfew, garlic, ginseng, dong quai, red clover, and other natural coumarins.
The herb could possibly interact with antidepressants, antiepileptics, hypertension medications, diuretics, trazodone, alprazolam, ibuprofen, blood sugar lowering medicines, cyclosporine etc.
Please consult your health practitioner before taking Ginkgo supplements.
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Suggested Ginkgo Biloba Supplements For Parkinsons Disease
Please consult a health practitioner before taking any health supplements.
There are many ginkgo biloba supplements available in the market but not all meet the standards set by German Commission E monograph.
The standardised content of pharmaceutical quality supplements contains 22-27% flavone glycosides and 5-7%terpenlactones, 2.8-3.4% ginkgolides A, B, C and 2.6-3.2% bilobalide. Also, they should contain less than 5 ppm gingkolic acid.
I have listed one pharmaceutical grade supplement and other dietary supplements that provide Ginkgo extracts close to these standards.
Tebonin Egb 761
EGb 761 is a patented standardised Ginkgo extract that is also referred to as Tebonin or Tanakan. It was developed by Dr Willmar Schwabe Group.
It has been used in clinical studies for several health conditions and is used to treat diabetes and diabetic neuropathies in France and Russia. In some European countries it is available as an over the counter drug.
Tebonin Gingko EGb761:
Image Credit: Schwabe Pharma
Here are some good quality standardised ginkgo extracts available as dietary supplements.
|Natures Way Ginkgold Max||Life Extension Ginkgo Biloba|
Ginkgo Biloba Protects Cognitive Function And Mood In Parkinsons Disease
Cognitive deficits have a negative impact on the quality of life of individuals with Parkinsons disease.
Overcoming cognitive impairment is yet another challenge in treating Parkinsons disease.
Research studies indicate the therapeutic effects of Ginkgo biloba in cognitive enhancement.
Since cognitive health is influenced by the dopamine levels in the brain, Ginkgo biloba can help maintain dopamine levels and healthier cognition in Parkinsons disease.
Beck et al. have found that a 240mg daily dose of a supplement containing Ginkgo biloba extracts helps improve cognition of elderly volunteers with memory impairment.
They observed that the herb mildly enhanced dopamine levels which improve cognitive flexibility.
A research article published in the International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 2010 confirmed that a 240 mg dose of daily administration of Ginkgo biloba can help protect cognition and reduce mental health symptoms in dementia patients.
Ginkgo biloba can enhance cognition in healthy individuals and slow down its decline in elderly individuals and those at risk of developing dementia.
Amieva and colleagues have reported that the long-term use of standardized Ginkgo extracts lower cognitive decline in elderly individuals compared to those who do not use Ginkgo or nootropics like piracetam.
Cognitive deficits, motor symptoms and impaired quality of life can induce depressive and anxiety related feelings in Parkinsons disease.
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Ginkgo Biloba Offers Neuroprotection And Can Help Prevent Parkinsons Disease
Neurotoxins are agents that damage neurons and the nerve tissue. They adversely affect the functioning of the nervous system.
Dopamine is a neurotransmitter released by functional and healthy neurons and it plays an important role in regulating various cellular functions.
Degeneration of neurons due to toxic agents in Parkinsons inhibits release of dopamine which in turn results in behavioural, cognitive impairment and other complications.
According to a study published in Phytotherapy Research,2004 Ginkgo biloba extracts showed the potential of protecting neurons releasing dopamine from damage in the presence of neurotoxins.
The neuroprotective effects were observed in animal models of Parkinsons disease. It protected from neuronal loss, prevented behavioural deficits and increased dopamine production.
Apart from protecting from neurotoxicity, Ginkgo may also influence genes that are involved in dopamine production and reduce the risk of Parkinsons disease.
Ginkgo biloba is found to protect neurons by regulating factors involving gene expression of dopamine thereby maintaining levels of dopamine-releasing neurons in the brain.
It activates biochemical factors that preserve dopaminergic neurons and prevent neurodegeneration.
Copper is an important metal ion whose levels are tightly regulated in the body. This is because although is required for carrying out many biological processes, in abnormal amounts it can become toxic to the cells.
Data Extraction And Critical Appraisal Of Studies
Study selection and appraisal of studies were performed independently by two researchers . Disagreement was resolved by consensus. Information was extracted via a standardized checklist included study design, duration of the study, comparability of study groups with respect to sex, age, baseline scores of cognitive, psychopathological and activities of daily living scales and clinical outcomes on different rating scales in the following domains: cognition, activities of daily living , neuropsychiatric symptoms, patients’ quality of life, response according to the studies’ definitions and drop out rates due to side effects. The study and publication quality was assessed on the basis of whether the following quality criteria had been adequately fulfilled: randomization and allocation concealment, blinding of patients and investigators, sample size estimation, handling and reporting of study discontinuations, application of the intent-to-treat principle, relevant data inconsistencies, and report of study funding. All clinical outcomes were assessed in the intent-to-treat samples. An intent-to-treat analysis was accepted when a last-observation-carried forward analysis was performed, or when no drop-outs occurred and all patients were included in the evaluation.
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Traditional Chinese Medicine And Acupuncture
Traditional Chinese Medicine views disease as caused by internal imbalances. It has historically been used to treat Parkinson disease with acupuncture and individually prepared herbal remedies. One study showed that acupuncture improved symptoms in a small group of people with Parkinson disease. People with Parkinson disease may also find that acupuncture helps them sleep better. If you consult a TCM practitioner, make sure your doctor is aware of any suggested treatment.
Comparisons Of Moca Scores Between Test And Control Groups Before And After Treatment
There was no difference in MoCA scores between the test and control groups before treatment . However, the MoCA scores of the test group at six months after treatment were significantly increased compared with the control group these scores were also higher than those before the treatment and at three months in the test group . The MoCA scores of the control group at six months were increased compared with before the treatment and at three months, but there was no statistical significance in the difference .
Table 2 Comparison of MoCA scores in the test and control groups before and after treatment
At the different time after treatment, the scores for the different components of MoCA in the test group were significantly increased compared with the control group , the scores for the different components of MoCA after treatment were significantly increased than before treatment in the test group . The improvement in visual-spatial ability and executive function , naming , attention , language abstract ability ,delayed memory and orientation were more obvious in the test group .
Table 3 Comparison of different components of MoCA in the test and control groups before and after treatment
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