In this medical video learn how researchers say an herb made from a tree leaf may help stop memory loss in MS patients.
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Jennifer Mathews: When Mimi Tarro talks to her husband, she often asks him the same questions over and over again. Mimi Tarro: An hour later I'll say, 'Now, what are you doing today? When are you coming home? Jennifer Mathews: She also has trouble remembering people and words. Mimi Tarro: I'm always going, 'It's like, you know, the thing-a-ma-gig that fits inside the whatcha-ma-call-it', because I can't think of either one of those names. Jennifer Mathews: Mimi's forgetfulness is a common symptom of multiple sclerosis; a disease that damages nerve fibers and impairs brain activity. Nothing can repair the damage, but in a small study, the herb ginkgo biloba improved awareness by 15%. That study, along with positive results in Alzheimer's patients, prompted doctor Dennis Bourdette to start his own clinical trial. Dennis Bourdette: If we demonstrate that ginkgo is beneficial, we'll have a safe, inexpensive agent in a situation where we have nothing else to offer. Jennifer Mathews: Mimi took ginkgo for three years and noticed a difference. Mimi Tarro: It wasn't like this big miracle that happened. It just was that I wasn't struggling. Jennifer Mathews: Although it's not a proven theory, doctors say it is a simple step in the right direction. This is Jennifer Mathews reporting.