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What is vinpocetine used for?

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Quick Answer

Vinpocetine is used to prevent Alzheimer's disease, improve memory and minimize the effects of ischemic stroke, according to WebMD. Patients also take vinpocetine to treat chronic fatigue syndrome, menopause symptoms, motion sickness and seizure disorders.

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Full Answer

Although researchers are still unsure exactly how vinpocetine works, as of 2015, it may increase blood flow to the brain as well as prevent neuron damage, states WebMD. Some research supports the supplement's ability to treat cognitive and memory disorders such as Alzheimer's, but most studies are not recent and only have data from a four-month period or less. Some early research suggests that vinpocetine may be effective in increasing visions in patients with age-related macular degeneration, reducing ringing in the ears and reducing bed-wetting.

A limited number of studies from around the world support vinpocetine's ability to help to reduce brain damage after an ischemic stroke, says WebMD. It may also enhance memory in otherwise healthy individuals when taken alone or with ginkgo, but more research is needed to rate the substance's effectiveness for most of its reported uses. Patients should not take vinpocetine if they are pregnant or breastfeeding, have recently undergone surgery, have a bleeding disorder, or have a weakened immune system.

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