New findings published in the Journal of Pharmacological Sciences outline the effectiveness of vinpocetine, a sodium channel blocker, as a treatment for sensorineural hearing loss.
“…with the use of vinpocetine, the hearing capacity improved. It is concluded that vinpocetine helps to stop hearing impairment and even improve hearing.”
Source: J Pharmacol Sci. 2021 Apr;145(4):313-318. doi: 10.1016/j.jphs.2021.01.010. PMID: 33712282.
Researchers conducted a phase 2 trial to determine if treatment with 30mg/day of vinpocetine could stop or reverse hearing deterioration in patients with sensorineural hearing loss.
Quick background from Wikipedia:
“Vinpocetine (ethyl apovincaminate) is a synthetic derivative of the vinca alkaloid vincamine. Vincamine is extracted from either the seeds of Voacanga africana or the leaves of Vinca minor (lesser periwinkle).”
Obligatory photo of the flowering plant:
The results, which were recently printed in the April issue of JPS, in a paper titled, “Evaluation of vinpocetine as a therapy in patients with sensorineural hearing loss: A phase II, open-label, single-center study”, appear promising.
Here is the abstract (emphasis ours):
The progressive degeneration of the excitable cells of the ear depends on the sustained excitation of the voltage-sensitive sodium channels, so the negative pharmacological modulation could be a rational therapeutic strategy against the damage of these cells. The objective was to demonstrate the effectiveness of Vinpocetine (VPC), a potent sodium channel blocker, as a treatment for acquired sensorineural hearing loss. A phase II, longitudinal and prospective open clinical study, was conducted over a period of 12 months with patients older than 18 years, to demonstrate the effectiveness of Vinpocetine (VPC) as a treatment for acquired sensorineural hearing loss, using evoked potentials, otoacoustic emissions, audiometry and logoaudiometry, analyzing the results at 6 and 12 months of treatment with Vinpocetine (30 mg/day in 3 doses). It was observed that from 0 to 6 months there was hearing impairment (which was already expected due to the age of the patients). From 6 to 12 months and from 0 to 12 months there were significant differences with a tendency towards improvement, indicating that the aforementioned deterioration not only stopped, but that with the use of vinpocetine, the hearing capacity improved. It is concluded that Vinpocetine helps to stop hearing impairment and even improve hearing.
Link to the full-text version of the paper plus a backup link to the entry on PubMed:
More information on vinpocetine will follow.
For now, here are some quick notes followed by links to further reading:
- semisynthetic natural product
- derived from the periwinkle plant
- has anti-inflammatory properties
- has the ability to modulate sodium and channel channels
- is used as a vasodilator for cerebrovascular and age-related memory disorders
- regulates levels of toll-like receptors
- subject of debate, controversy, and FDA activity/memos [comment: to anyone reading this, be very careful of vinpocetine for sale on the internet. This article is not meant to suggest any treatment and especially not a do-it-yourself vinpocetine regimen. Furthermore, one of the studies I read tested supplement products that listed vinpocetine as an ingredient… and found that many of these products actually contained no vinpocetine (and/or worse, “replacement” ingredients that were not listed on the bottle).]
- a search for vinpocetine on PubMed shows a lot of results, quite recent too… hmmm…
Some interesting articles on vinpocetine [author’s note: this “drug” keeps getting more interesting the more I read about it…]:
- Vinpocetine: drug or dietary supplement?
FDA signals intent to regulate semisynthetic dietary ingredient as a drug
- Vinpocetine: An Unapproved Drug Sold as a Dietary Supplement
- Vinpocetine – Wikipedia
Two more scientific papers, related to vinpocetine and the auditory system:
That’s all for now.
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