Noopept, or N-phenylacetyl-L-prolylglycine ethyl ester, is a synthetic nootropic molecule that has been known to improve various aspects of cognition including working memory and attention. The effects of noopept are similar to those of racetams such as piracetam.
Pharmacology of noopept
The effects of noopept are similar to those of racetams such as piracetam. While the chemical structure is not technically defined as a racetam, the structure is similar to racetams in that a piracetam-like structure is contained within it, although noopept does not have a pyrrolidone nucleus.
The chemical structure of noopept. A racetam-like structure is contained within a noopept chemical.
Noopept and mental performance
While there has been limited research on the effects of Noopept in humans, one study in humans observed the effects of Noopept in people with mild cognitive disorders.146 patients with either dependent personality disorder or post-concussional syndrome underwent treatment with either Noopept or piracetam over a period of 56 days. It was found that in both cases, Noopept helped to improve cognitive function as measured by the Mini Mental Status Examination (MMSE) before and after a 56-day administration period. In both the patients with dependent personality disorder and those with post-concussional syndrome, Noopept resulted in greater improvement in MMSE scores.
Noopept was shown to improve scores on the Mini Mental Status Examination (MMSE) in patients with dependent personality disorder (A) and post-concussional syndrome.
In addition, Noopept was shown to improve scores in the Cognitive Capacity Screen Examination (CCSE) in both sets of patients as well. The improved effects started to appear at 14 days after initiation of treatment and continued to increase as the treatment period went on.
Noopept has been shown to improve scores on the ognitive Capacity Screen Examination (CCSE), which evalutes orientation, memory, counting, and the abilities to infer and to group objects. Significant improvemnets from baseline started appearing at 14 days after initiation of treatment.
Several animal studies have examined the effects of noopept on biomarkers related to cognition. Most of these studies were conducted in animals. For example, one study showed that treatment of rats for 28 days with Noopept yielded increased expression of mRNA for brain-derived neurotrophic actor (BDNF). However, expression of nerve growth factor (NGF) was decreased during this time. In rats, Noopept has been studied in the context of disease models for Alzheimer’s. One study found that Noopept supplementation starting 15 days following injection of beta-amyloid (a molecule involved in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s disease) in the Meynert nuclei of the brain (where neuroonal damage is known to correlate with cognitive decline), resulted in protective effects against beta-amyloid. In particular, Noopept led to increased antibody production against beta-amyloid tissue.3While rats that had the beta-amyloid injection without administration exhibited memory loss, major memory loss was not found in rats treated with Noopept after injection of beta-amyloid.
In rats, the effects of Noopept on memory has been evaluated. In one study, rats underwent olfactory bulbectomy, which served as a model for Alzheimer’s. Either Noopept or a control (saline) was administered for 21 days afterwards. It was found that the rats undergoing Noopept intervention exhibited improved spatial memory as measured by the Morris water maze. Furthermore, the rats receiving Noopept had a 2-fold increase in production of antibodies to the Aβ amyloid precursor protein, which is a marker for Alzheimer’s disease pathogenesis.
A recent study in rats examined the effects of Noopept on Aβ-induced cytotoxicity. It was found that rats undergoing noopept treatment exhibited increased neuronal cell viability and decreased cell apoptosis, which are promising endpoints that serve as markers to improved cognitive function.
Adverse effects of Noopept
Noopept has not been extensively studied in humans. One study in 46 patients, had 3 patients drop out due to sleep disturbances and sharp blood pressure changes that required hypotensive treatment. Future scientific work should focus on rigorously evaluating the safety profile of Noopept.