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Senior hikers taking part in clinical trials of using vinpocetine for boosting brain health

Vinpocetine Improves Hearing Capacity

A 2021 clinical study found that a brain-boosting compound called vinpocetine also improved hearing capacity.

Scientifically reviewed by: Dr. Gary Gonzalez, MD, in November 2021. Written by: Chancellor Faloon.

Vinpocetine is a derivative of a compound found in the periwinkle plant.1

It has demonstrated benefits for a range of conditions, including cerebral vascular disorders, seizures, and hearing loss.1,2

In a clinical study published in 2021, vinpocetine was tested on patients with sensorineural hearing loss, which is caused by damaged hair cells in the inner ear.2 Twelve months of vinpocetine intake (30 mg/day) significantly reduced the rate of deterioration and improved hearing capacity.

The effects of vinpocetine on increasing brain blood flow, reducing injury to blood vessels, and enhancing cerebral metabolism were uncovered decades ago.1

In preclinical models, vinpocetine has shown protective effects against ischemia-reperfusion injury, the damage that occurs to tissues and organs when, following blockage of an artery, the oxygen-rich blood flow is restored.1

Research to improve stroke outcomes, in two randomized, controlled trials, showed that intravenous (IV) vinpocetine combined with conventional therapy significantly improved outcomes following an acute ischemic stroke compared to conventional therapy alone.3,4

Patients were given IV vinpocetine daily for one to two weeks after diagnosis of a stroke. In both studies, vinpocetine treatment led to a greater improvement on a range of outcomes such as mental state, inflammatory response, and neurological function.

Vinpocetine also displayed remarkable benefits for those with seizure disorder.

In a clinical trial, patients were treated with conventional anti-epileptic drugs and were randomized to receive either daily vinpocetine or a placebo. 5 After eight weeks, 69% of the vinpocetine-treated patients had a 50% reduction in seizures, compared to only 13% of the placebo group.

New studies are now paving the way for further investigations into vinpocetine:

  • In a cell culture study, vinpocetine reduced inflammation caused by the bacteria responsible for otitis media (middle ear infection).6
  • In an animal model of Alzheimer’s disease, vinpocetine protected against deterioration in certain brain regions and reduced levels of beta-amyloid and phosphorylated tau proteins, both associated with Alzheimer’s disease severity.7

Vinpocetine provides wide-reaching benefits for brain and nervous system health. Research continues to uncover additional uses.

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References

  1. Zhang YS, Li JD, Yan C. An update on vinpocetine: New discoveries and clinical implications. Eur J Pharmacol. 2018 Jan 15;819:30-4.
  2. Gutierrez-Farfan I, Reyes-Legorreta C, Solis-Olguin M, et al. Evaluation of vinpocetine as a therapy in patients with sensorineural hearing loss: A phase II, open-label, single-center study. J Pharmacol Sci. 2021 Apr;145(4):313-8.
  3. Zhang W, Huang Y, Li Y, et al. Efficacy and Safety of Vinpocetine as Part of Treatment for Acute Cerebral Infarction: A Randomized, Open-Label, Controlled, Multicenter CAVIN (Chinese Assessment for Vinpocetine in Neurology) Trial. Clin Drug Investig. 2016 Sep;36(9):697-704.
  4. Zhang F, Yan C, Wei C, et al. Vinpocetine Inhibits NF-kappaB-Dependent Inflammation in Acute Ischemic Stroke Patients. Transl Stroke Res. 2018 Apr;9(2):174-84.
  5. Garza-Morales S, Briceno-Gonzalez E, Ceja-Moreno H, et al. Extended-release vinpocetine: a possible adjuvant treatment for focal onset epileptic seizures. Bol Med Hosp Infant Mex. 2019;76(5):215-24.
  6. Komatsu K, Nam DH, Lee JY, et al. Vinpocetine Suppresses Streptococcus pneumoniae-Induced Inflammation via Inhibition of ERK1 by CYLD. J Immunol. 2020 Feb 15;204(4):933-42.
  7. Ali AA, Ahmed HI, Khaleel SA, et al. Vinpocetine mitigates aluminum-induced cognitive impairment in socially isolated rats. Physiol Behav. 2019 Sep 1;208:112571.