Ampakines: The Next Wave of Nootropic Stimulants
Ampakines are an exciting new class of drugs which have been shown to have many nootropic benefits including enhancing attention span, learning, memory, and altertness. One study found that they even left lasting benefits to learning and memory after they left the body. While strong ampakines can produce a potent stimulating effect, their unqiue mechanism of action causes them to lack many of the side effects of traditional stimulants such as insomnia.
They are currently being studied as a possible treatment for many different mental disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, depression, and ADHD.
How Do Ampakines Work?
Ampakines work by acting as a positive allosteric modulator on the AMPA receptors. These receptors regulate much of the synaptic transmission in the central nervous system. Unlike traditional stimulants such as adderall, ampakines do not force these receptors to fire faster, but merely allow them to when necessary. This results in a drug which presents stimulant effects without many of the negative side effects associated with traditional stimulants.
What Are Some Examples of Ampakines?
Many of the common ‘racetams such as piracetam and aniracetam are ampakines, however their modulation of the AMPA receptors is very weak and is not one of their primary mechanisms of action. Therefore their effects should not be seen as indicative of what a more powerful Ampakine would provide. Though most popular ‘racetams are currently only weak Ampakines, others that have a much more potent effect on AMPA receptors such as Nooglutil are currently in testing. These ‘racetams could prove far more effective nootropics than current ones.
Many potent non-’racetam Ampakines are also currently being developed. Cortex Pharmaceuticals holds patents covering the use of ampakines to treat many different conditions, and their development programs have yielded a variety of different ampakines such as Ampalex and Farampator.