LEARNING OBJECTIVES

A comprehensive summary on currently available data for the use of ginkgo biloba in glaucoma

Practical Tips:

Use of Ginkgo biloba Extract in Glaucoma

Author: Andrew Want MD¹, Robert Ritch MD²

1Wills Specialty Registrar in Ophthalmology, Abergele Hospital, Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, Abergele, Wales
2Shelley and Steven Einhorn Distinguished Chair, New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai, New York, NY

Core concepts

• Ginkgo biloba extract (GBE) contains multiple flavonoids and terpenoids and has been investigated in many studies for various conditions, with a growing body of evidence supporting its beneficial effects.
• GBE can target several underlying mechanisms in glaucoma.
• Oxidative stress has been identified as an important factor in glaucomatous damage. GBE has significant antioxidant properties and has been shown to be protective against oxidative stress in culture and animal models.
• Reperfusion injury due to disturbance of microcirculation plays a key role in glaucoma. GBE has been shown to improve ocular and peripheral circulation.
• GBE affects the trabecular meshwork, suppressing raised IOP and improving trabecular meshwork cellularity following steroid use in experimental models.
• GBE appears to be a safe treatment option with few reported adverse effects.
• Positive effects of GBE seen in experimental models and the theoretical impact on the underlying mechanisms make it a good candidate for an alternative glaucoma treatment.