Effect of Vinpocetine (Cognitol™) on Cognitive Performances of a Nigerian Population
Background: Chronic medical disorders are often complicated by cognitive impairments, making medical intervention that can alleviate cognitive disturbances desirable. Vinpocetine enhances cerebral utilization of oxygen and glucose and consequently improves cerebral functions including memory. Aim: This study assessed the efficacy of vinpocetine (Cognitol™) in improving memory and concentration in cognitively impaired patients. Subjects and Methods: A prospective analytical study of 56 cognitively impaired patients compared with age, sex and level of education matched 56 controls. Cognitive performance was assessed with the Short Blessed Test, which was pilot‑tested. Baseline cognitive performances of the patients and controls were obtained and thereafter cognitive performances of the patients were assessed at 6 and 12 weeks after administration of vinpocetine at a dose of 5 mg twice‑a‑day. Comparative analysis of their performances at baseline was done using the Student t‑test, while the improvement in patients’ performances and effect of disease variables on cognitive performances were analyzed with one‑way analysis of variance and likelihood ratio analysis respectively. Results: The mean (standard deviation) [SD] ages of the cognitively impaired patients (56/112) and controls (56/112) were 49.5 (18.9) and 53.8 (15.8) years respectively (P = 0.19; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 2.2‑10.8). The pilot study yielded an optimal cut‑off error score of 6 with a sensitivity of 71.4%, specificity of 96.4% and accuracy of 83.9%. Patients performed significantly worse than the controls (P < 0.001; 95% CI 6.7‑11.4). There were significant improvements in memory and concentration with vinpocetine therapy (P < 0.05). The clinical variables of the patients had no effect on the trend of cognitive performances. Conclusions: Vinpocetine was effective in improving memory and concentration of patients with epilepsy and dementia although the efficacy was minimal in demented patients.
Keywords: Concentration, Dementia, Epilepsy, Memory, Nigeria, Vinpocetine