26 September 2022 : Case report
Unusual or unexpected effect of treatmentUdo A. Zifko1E*, Muhammad Yacob1E, Benedikt J. Braun1BE, Gunnar P.H. Dietz2EF
Am J Case Rep 2022; 23:e937094
BACKGROUND: Cognitive symptoms persisting longer than 3 months after infection, such as memory loss, or difficulties concentrating, have been reported in up to one-third of patients after COVID-19. Evidence-based therapeutic interventions to treat post-COVID-19 symptoms (also called “Long-COVID symptoms”) have not yet been established, and the treating physicians must rely on conjecture to help patients. Based on its mechanism of action and its efficacy in treating cognitive impairment, as well as its good tolerability, the Ginkgo biloba special extract EGb 761 has been suggested as a remedy to alleviate cognitive post-COVID-19 symptoms. In many studies, EGb 761 has been demonstrated to protect endothelial cells, to have potent anti-inflammatory effects, and to enhance neuroplasticity.
CASE REPORT: Here, we report for the first time the application of EGb 761 in the therapy of post-COVID-19-related cognitive deficits. Three women and 2 men, aged 26 to 59 years (average age 34.6 years), presented with concentration and attention deficits, cognitive deficiencies, and/or fatigue 9-35 weeks after infection. A daily dose of 2×80 mg of EGb 761 did not cause any detectable adverse effects, and it substantially improved or completely restored cognitive deficits and, when initially present, also other symptoms, such as fatigue and hyposmia, within an observation period of up to 6 months.
CONCLUSIONS: Our observations support the hypothesis that EGb 761 might be a low-risk treatment option for post-COVID-19 patients with cognitive symptoms. Moreover, we derive recommendations for randomized controlled clinical trials to confirm efficacy in that indication.
Keywords: SARS-CoV-2, cognitive dysfunction, post-acute COVID-19 syndrome, Neurocognitive Disorders
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