Vinpocetine is derived from an alkaloid found in the periwinkle plant. It has become popular as a cognitive enhancer and as an agent for dealing with a variety of neurological disorders, including:
- cerebrovascular disorders – low cerebral blood flow, headache, hypoxia, cerebral atherosclerosis, and stroke
- mental impairment – poor memory, aphasia, motor disorders, senility, Alzheimer’s Disease, and dementias
- sensory disorders – hearing impairment, inner-ear problems, dizziness, low visual acuity, and diabetic retinopathy
- failing neuronal metabolism.
Most of these uses have clinical and laboratory support.
Vinpocetine causes dilation of brain blood vessels, inhibits blood clotting, and improves cerebral blood flow. It is also thought to increase the absorption of glucose by nerve cells, thereby providing extra energy for the brain.
Since vinpocetine improves memory and cognition in ailing individuals, many perfectly healthy people conclude that it should help them, too — an idea that makes a lot of sense.
Pronunciation: vinpocetine (vinn-POH-seh-teen)