Doctors said there is no treatment for minimal cognitive decline, something they measure using a standard index of mental functions. In this study, 87 people, aged 55 to 75, with cognitive index scores indicating mild impairment, took a placebo or 150 mg of the antioxidant Pycnogenol per day. All participants maintained healthy sleep habits, regular exercise, and a low-sodium, low-sugar diet.
After eight weeks, while there was no change for placebo, those taking Pycnogenol saw an average 18 percent increase in cognitive index scores, to 25.64 from 21.64 at the start of the study. A score above 24 indicates normal cognition. The Pycnogenol group remembered friends and family better, where things were located, and learned gadgets and technology, managed money, and better dealt with people. (Reference: Journal of Neurosurgical Sciences; 2018, Vol. 62, No. 3, 279-84)
Pycnogenol is an extract of the bark of French maritime pine. It contains a group of chemicals known scientifically as oligomeric proanthocyanidin complexes (OPCs) or procyanidolic oligomers (PCOs). Similar substances are also found in grape seed, as well as red wine, cranberries, blueberries, green tea, black currant, etc. I'm sure Ginkgo biloba is rich in similar compounds. Given the claim that Ginkgo and similar substances increase cerebral circulation, it is no surprise to find evidence Pycnogenol reverses mild cognitive decline.