Vinpocetin in neurological diseases

1. What effect does Vinpocetin have?

Vinpocetine is a synthetic derivative of the vinca alkaloid, vincamine is an alkaloid extracted from periwinkle trees. Vinpocetine, trade name Cavinton invented by Gedeon Richter, was originally developed and marketed in Hungary around 1978. The drug has been used clinically in many Asian and European countries for the prevention and treatment of stroke, senile dementia and memory disorders.

 2. How does Vinpocetine work in the Brain?

Vinpocetine boosts brain health and function in several ways. But two in particular stand out.

Vinpocetine boosts cerebral circulation. Your brain only accounts for about 2% of your bodyweight, but it consumes about 20% of the oxygen and nutrients circulating in your blood.[v] This is why strong, healthy cerebral blood flow is so critical to your brain health and cognitive performance.
Vinpocetine inhibits an enzyme called PDE1 (phosphodiesterase type 1) while reducing calcium levels in brain cells. When both of these are elevated, the smooth muscle in blood vessels contract, narrowing the diameter of blood vessels. And restricting blood flow to that area of the brain.

You may be familiar with PDE5 inhibitors like Viagra® which work to dilate blood vessels and maintain healthy blood flow to your penis. Vinpocetine has a similar mechanism of action in your brain.

In two separate clinical studies, chronic ischemic post-stroke patients were treated with either a single infusion, or daily infusion of Vinpocetine for 2 weeks.

Vinpocetine increased cerebral glucose uptake and glucose metabolism in both the stroke region of the patient’s brains as well as the intact brain tissue.

Patients in the 2-week long treatment also showed increased cerebral blood flow especially in the thalamus, basal ganglia and visual cortex regions of the brain.

Vinpocetine is an anti-inflammatory. Vinpocetine prevents the upregulation of NFκB (nuclear factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells) by TNFα (tumor necrosis factor alpha).
This sounds a little complicated, but has serious implications in the development of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s Disease. Here’s how it works…

NFκB is a protein complex that controls transcription of DNA, cytokine production (signaling protein) and cell survival. TNFα is a signaling protein (cytokine) involved in inflammation produced by neurons. Vinpocetine inhibits this action.

Vinpocetine also reduces the TNFα-induced expression of the mRNA of pro-inflammatory molecules such as interleukin-1β, monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1), and vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1).

Researchers have found that Vinpocetine prevents this inflammatory response at the cellular nucleus level. And this mechanism of action is independent of Vinpocetine’s action on PDE1.

This is a very big deal because TNFα contributes to the neuronal cell death found in Parkinson’s Disease. And there is growing evidence that the accumulation of amyloid-β protein leads to an upregulation of interleukins and TNFα that contributes to neurodegeneration leading to Alzheimer’s Disease.

3. Indications and safety of Vinpocetine

Vinpocetine was originally developed to treat neurological diseases associated with cerebrovascular disorders such as stroke and dementia often caused by ischemia or other cognitive defects. Several studies have reported protective effects of vinpocetine following ischemic brain damage in rodents and humans. In addition, it has many benefits for neuronal degenerative disorders such as Parkinson's disease (PD), Huntington's disease and Alzheimer's disease.

The drug is indicated to:

+ Treatment of cerebral blood circulation disorders: Conditions after stroke, atherosclerosis, encephalopathy due to injuries and hypertension, degeneration of the underlying spinal system

+ Treatment of chronic capillary disorders of the retina and mucous vessels

+ Treatment of receptive hearing loss, tinnitus, Ménière's disease

+ Reduce neuropsychiatric symptoms of dementia due to vascular causes

Why should you choose Vinpocetine?

+ Ingredients extracted from natural origin

+ Safe for long-term use

+ The drug does not require dose therapy for patients with hepatic impairment, renal failure and elderly patients Many studies show that Vinpocetine may be beneficial in patients with hypertension, diabetes mellitus.