Role of vinpocetine in cerebrovascular diseases

Sazal Patyar, Ajay Prakash, Manish Modi, Bikash Medhi. Pharmacological Reports, 2011, 63, 618-268 (2011)


A cerebrovascular accident, or stroke, is defined as the abrupt onset of a neurological deficit, which can be due to ischemia. Cerebral ischemia is caused by a reduction in blood flow that thereby decreases cerebral metabolism. Chronic cerebral hypoperfusion leads to irreversible brain damage and plays an important role in the development of certain types of dementia. Vinpocetine, chemically known as ethyl apovincaminate, is a vinca alkaloid that exhibits cerebral blood-flow enhancing and neuroprotective effects. Non- clinical and clinical studies have suggested multiple mechanisms responsible for the beneficial neuroprotective effects of vinpocetine. As no significant side effects related to vinpocetine treatment have been reported, it is considered to be safe for long-term use. This vasoactive alkaloid is widely marketed as a supplement for vasodilation and as a nootropic for the improvement of memory. The present review focuses on studies investigating the role of vinpocetine in cerebrovascular diseases.

Psychopharmacological effects of vinpocetine in normal healthy volunteers

Subhan Z., Hindmarch I. European journal of clinical pharmacology, 1985


Twelve healthy female volunteers received pre-treatments with vinpocetine 10, 20, 40 mg and placebo (t.d.s.) for two days according to a randomised, double-blind crossover design. On the third day of treatment and 1 h following morning dosage, subjects completed a battery of psychological tests including Critical Flicker Fusion (CFF), Choice Reaction Time (CRT), Subjective Ratings of Drug Effects (LARS) and a Sternberg Memory Scanning Test. No statistically significant changes from placebo were observed on CFF, CRT or subjective ratings of drug effects. However, memory as assessed using the Sternberg technique was found to be significantly improved following treatment with vinpocetine 40 mg when compared to placebo and results suggested a localised effect of the drug on the serial comparison stage of the reaction process.

Study of the effects of vinpocetin on cognitive functions.

Valikovics A., Csányi A., Németh L. Ideggyogyaszati szemle, 2012


Introduction: Chronic cerebral hypoperfusion is a risk factor for the development of certain types of dementia. Mild cognitive impairment is a stage of predementia condition, because the symptoms are similar but not as severe as the symptoms in patients with dementia. Vinpocetine, due to its complex mechanism of action, has an important role in the improvement of chronic cerebral hypoperfusion.

Objective: The aim of our study was to determine the severity of the cognitive decline and to investigate the efficacy and safety of per os 18 months vinpocetine treatment in patients with mild cognitive impairment.

Methods: We used psychometrical tests (MMSE, ADAS-Cog) to assess the cognitive functions. CGIC-PGIC was used to evaluate the overall change in the disease status. ADL was used to assess the patient’s daily activity and the Hamilton Depression Scale to evaluate the patient’s mood. The assessments were performed at six visits during the 18 months treatment period.

Results: At the beginning of the treatment, the stage of our patients’ mild cognitive impairment was moderately severe. Significant improvement was detected in the psychometrical tests after the 18 months treatment period. The overall status of the disease improved significantly according both to the patient and the investigator. Also significant improvement was detected in daily activity. The complex improvement of the clinical symptoms affected the patients’ mood positively. Moreover, vinpocetine was safe and had a good tolerability during the whole study period.

Conclusion: Vinpocetine, due its complex mechanism of action, improved significantly the cognitive functions, overall disease status and quality of life in patients with chronic cerebral hypoperfusion. As a result, vinpocetine treatment can be recommended for patients with mild cognitive impairment.


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