A double-blind, prospective, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial was carried out to test the acute and long-term hemodynamical and beneficial cognitive effects of the vasoactive agent vinpocetine on patients suffering from multiple cerebral infarcts by means of functional transcranial Doppler examinations and by neuropsychological tests. Twenty-six patients (17 men, 9 women) with multiple cerebral infarctions, aged between 50 and 83 years (mean age+/-SD=63.4+/-9.39 years) were examined, 14 of whom received vinpocetine and 12 placebo. The functional transcranial Doppler included breath-holding tests, finger movement, word fluency, and picture-discrimination tasks. Twenty-five patients were assessed by neuropsychological battery. No serious side effect was found in the vinpocetine group. The flow velocities were significantly lower in the acute phase after breath holding in the vinpocetine group than in the placebo group. Three months later, the vinpocetine patients did not show any significant worsening in digit span backward test, while the placebo group did. No other significant differences in the neuropsychological test could be detected between the treatment and the placebo groups. Longer lasting and higher dosage of vinpocetine therapy is suggested to prove its potential effect.