Superior Cerebral Metabolic Enhancer and Neuroprotector
Ward Dean. M.D. and John Morgenthaler
Vinpocetine is a powerful memory
enhancer. It facilitates cerebral metabolism by improving
cerebral microcirculation (blood flow), stepping up brain cell
ATP production (ATP is the cellular energy molecule), and
increasing utilization of glucose and oxygen. Vinpocetine is a derivative of vincamine, which is an
extract of the periwinkle. Although these substances have many
similar effects, Vinpocetine has more benefits and fewer
adverse effects than vincamine.
What all this means is that Vinpocetine shares many of
the effects of several other cognitive enhancers.
Vinpocetine is often used for the treatment of cerebral
circulatory disorders such as memory problems, acute stroke,
aphasia (loss of the power of expression), apraxia (inability to
coordinate movements), motor disorders, dizziness and other
cerebro-vestibular (inner-ear) problems, and headache.
Vinpocetine is also used to treat acute or chronic
ophthalmological diseases of various origin, with visual acuity
improving in 70% of the subjects.
Vinpocetine also is used in the treatment of
sensorineural hearing impairment.
The Gedeon Richter company of Hungary markets Vinpocetine
as Cavinton in Europe. They have funded more than one hundred
studies on Vinpocetine, often comparing its effects to
other smart drugs. The incidence of side effects in humans using
the drug orally is usually less than one percent, with the rare
unwanted effects usually disappearing with continued use.
One series of studies that Gedeon Richter conducted involved 882
patients with neurological disorders ranging from stroke to
cerebral insufficiency. Significant improvements
were found in 62% of the patients. In one of the studies,
cerebral insufficiency patients were asked to memorize a list of
10 words. Without Vinpocetine the subjects were able to
memorize an average of 6 words. After a month of treatment the
average went up to 10 words. Gedeon Richter promotes
Vinpocetine as the only drug that improves cerebral
metabolism (glucose and oxygen uptake), tolerance of hypoxia
(deficient blood oxygenation), ATP concentration, norepinephrine
and serotonin turnover, and cerebral microcirculation. Gedeon
Richter also claims that Vinpocetine selectively
increases blood flow to the brain, improving blood flow to the
impaired area without lowering blood flow to other parts of the
body (Gedeon Richter product literature).
As if the medical uses of Vinpocetine were not amazing
enough, in one double-blind crossover study normal, healthy
volunteers showed incredible short-term memory improvement an
hour after taking 40 mg of Vinpocetine. The volunteers
took a computer-administered short-term memory test called a
Scanning Test. The volunteers (all women between the ages of 25
and 40) were shown one to three digits on a computer screen.
Then, a moment later, they were shown a long string of digits.
The volunteers then indicated whether any of the first digits
appeared in the second long string. The time the volunteer took
to remember was then assessed. On a placebo, the women took an
average of 700 milliseconds to respond when the first set
contained 3 digits. With Vinpocetine, they averaged under
450 milliseconds! 5
Precautions: Adverse effects are rare, but include hypotension,
dry mouth, weakness, and tachycardia. Vinpocetine
has no drug interactions, no toxicity, and is generally very
Dosage: One ten mg capsule, one to three per day.
Excerpted from Smart Drugs & Nutrients
Reprinted with permission from Smart Publications, Inc.
Enhancer’s Role Expands to Incontinence and Epilepsy
source of nutrients and supplements.
did we qualify them ?
1. DeNoble, V.J., Repetti. S.J., Gelpke, L.W., Wood, L.M., Keim,
K.L. Vinpocetine: Nootropic Effects on Scopolamine-lnduced and
Hypoxia-Induced Retrieval Deficits of a
Step-Through Passive Avoidance Response in Rats. Pharmacology
Biochemistry & Behavior. 1986, Vol. 24, pp. 1123-8.
2. Gedeon Richter product literature, Cavinton.
3. Hadjiev, D., Yancheva, S. Rheoencephalographic and
Psychologic Studies with Ethyl Apovincaminate in Cerebral
Vascular Insufficiency. Arzneimittelforschung. 1976,
Vol. 26, pp. I 947-50.
4. E., Atarashi, J., Araki, G., Ito, E., Omae, T., Kuzuya, F.,
Nukada, T., Ebi, O. Comparison of Vinpocetine with Ifenprodil
Tartrate and Dihydroergotoxine Mesylate
Treatment and Results of Long-Term Treatment with Vinpocetine.
Current Therapeutic Research. 1985, Vol. 37, No. 5, pp. 811-21.
5. Pelton, R., Pelton, T.C. Mind Food & Smart Pills. New York:
6. Subhan, Z., Hindmarch, I. Psychopharmacological Effects of
Vinpocetine in Normal Healthy Volunteers. European Journal of
Clinical Pharmacology. 1985, Vol. 28, pp.
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