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Vinpocetine (brand names: Cavinton, Intelectol; chemical name: ethyl apovincaminate) is a synthetic derivative of the vinca alkaloidvincamine (sometimes described as "a synthetic ethyl ester of apovincamine"), an extract from the lesser periwinkle plant. Vinpocetine was first isolated from the plant in 1975 by the Hungarian chemist Csaba Szántay. The mass production of the synthetic compound was started in 1978 by the Hungarian pharmaceutical company Richter Gedeon.
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Vinpocetine has been clinically used in many countries for treatment of cerebrovascular disorders such as stroke and dementia for more than 30 years. Due to its excellent safety profile, increasing efforts have been put into exploring the novel therapeutic effects and mechanism of actions of vinpocetine in various cell types and disease models. Recent studies have revealed a number of novel functions of vinpocetine, including anti-inflammation, antagonizing injury-induced vascular remodeling and high-fat-diet-induced atherosclerosis, as well as attenuating pathological cardiac remodeling. These novel findings may facilitate the repositioning of vinpocetine for preventing or treating relevant disorders in humans.