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Efficacy of ginkgo biloba extract as augmentation of venlafaxine in treating post-stroke depression

Authors Liang ZH, Jia YB, Wang ML, Li ZR, Li M, Yun YL, Zhu RX

Received 10 May 2019

Accepted for publication 15 July 2019

Published 3 September 2019 Volume 2019:15 Pages 2551—2557


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Jun Chen

Zi-Hong Liang,1 Yan-Bo Jia,2 Mei-Ling Wang,1 Zi-Ru Li,1 Min Li,1 Yong-Li Yun,1 Run-Xiu Zhu1

1Department of Neurology, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region People’s Hospital, Huhhot, Inner Mongolia, People’s Republic of China; 2Department of Orthopaedics, The Second Affiliated Hospital of Inner Mongolia Medical University, Huhhot, Inner Mongolia, People’s Republic of China

Correspondence: Run-Xiu Zhu
Department of Neurology, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region People’s Hospital, No. 20 Zhaowuda Road, Huhhot, Inner Mongolia
010017, People’s Republic of China
Tel +86 0 471 328 3999
Fax +86 0 471 328 3999

Background: Post-stroke depression (PSD) is one of the most common psychiatric diseases afflicting stroke survivors. This study was conducted to assess the efficacy of ginkgo biloba extract as augmentation of venlafaxine in treating PSD.
Methods: The included PSD patients were randomly assigned into the experiment group (receiving ginkgo biloba extract plus venlafaxine) and control group (receiving venlafaxine alone). The treatment was continued for eight weeks. The Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HDRS) and the Self-rating Depression Scale (SDS) were used to assess the depressive symptoms. The National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) was used to assess the neurological defect, and the Activities of Daily Living (ADL) was used to assess recovery of abilities of patients after stroke. Meanwhile, the levels of serum 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) were measured before and after treatment. The dose of venlafaxine used and adverse events were also recorded.
Results: Each group had 40 PSD patients. After treatment, the depressive symptoms, neurological defect and living function were significantly improved in both groups. But the patients receiving ginkgo biloba extract plus venlafaxine had the significantly lower average HDRS score (p=0.0008), SDS score (p<0.00001), NIHSS score (p=0.00001), and higher average ADL score (p=0.0005). Meanwhile, compared to the control group, patients in the experiment group had the significantly higher 5-HT (p<0.00001) level and BDNF level (p<0.00001), needed lower dose of venlafaxine (p=0.007), and experienced fewer adverse events.
Conclusion: These results demonstrated that the ginkgo biloba extract was a good augmentation of venlafaxine in treating PSD and should be further investigated.

Keywords: ginkgo biloba extract, venlafaxine, post-stroke depression, PSD

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