Age-related effects of Ginkgo biloba extract on synaptic plasticity and excitability.


EGb 761 is a standardized extract from the Ginkgo biloba leaf and is purported to improve age-related memory impairment. The acute and chronic effect of EGb 761 on synaptic transmission and plasticity in hippocampal slices from young adult (8-12 weeks) and aged (18-24 months) C57Bl/6 mice was tested because hippocampal plasticity is believed to be a key component of memory. Acutely applied EGb 761 significantly increased neuronal excitability in slices from aged mice by reducing the population spike threshold and increased the early phase of long-term potentiation, though there was no effect in slices from young adults. In chronically treated mice fed for 30 days with an EGb 761-supplemented diet, EGb 761 significantly increased the population spike threshold and long-term potentiation in slices from aged animals, but had no effect on slices from young adults. The rapid effects of EGb 761 on plasticity indicate a direct interaction with the glutamatergic system and raise interesting implications with respect to a mechanism explaining its effect on cognitive enhancement in human subjects experiencing dementia.

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@article{Williams2004AgerelatedEO, title={Age-related effects of Ginkgo biloba extract on synaptic plasticity and excitability.}, author={Bryn Williams and Coran M H Watanabe and Peter G Schultz and Gerald Rimbach and Thomas Krucker}, journal={Neurobiology of aging}, year={2004}, volume={25 7}, pages={955-62} }