N-Acetyl Semax Amidate
Semax, which was developed in Russia, has been found to have benefit in the settings of stroke, cognitive impairment, dementia, and inflammation of the optic nerve. It has also been tested as a potential immune system booster and has been found to have antidepressant and anxiolytic properties as well. Research shows that Semax increases levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in the central nervous system as well as levels of serotonin and dopamine.
Semax Peptide Review
Sequence: L-Methionyl-L-α-glutamylhistidyl-L-phenylalanyl-L-prolylglycyl-L-proline, (Pro8,Gly9,Pro10)ACTH-(4-10)
Molecular Formula: C37H51N9O10S
Molecular Weight: 813.93 g/mol
Semax is a synthetic analogue of adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH). It consists of the amino acids 4-10 of ACTH.
N-Acetyl Semax Amidate Affects Resting Brain Structure
Functional magnetic resonance imaging has revealed that Semax boosts the function of what is called the default mode network. The default mode network refers to brain areas that are more active during rest than they are during active task performance. This particular network is actually poorly understood, but recent research suggests that it may play a role in social cognition and monitoring of the environment. It is like a general-purpose system for monitoring the world around us when we don’t have something specific to focus on. This makes it an important part of attention as the default mode network is necessary for rousing use from a “rest” state so that we can focus on an event, particularly events that involve relating to other people. In fact, the default mode network is often compromised in diseases of cognition, such as Alzheimer’s disease, which only further supports the idea that it is involved in general social awareness.
By boosting activity in the default mode network, N-acetyl Semax peptide serves to increase our general level of arousal while at rest. This makes us more attentive to our environment, particularly our social environment, which is perceived as have greater focus and attention. In other words, N-acetyl Semax amidate may be enhancing basic environmental monitoring functions of the brain, allowing it to more readily shift from a resting state to a focused state.
It is important to note as well that increased activity in the default mode network generally correlates with increased connections between various regions of the brain. Increased interconnectivity is associated with improve problem solving, enhanced memory, and creativity. Though there is no direct research to support such an effect of Semax, it is within the realm of possibilities that the peptide boosts interconnectivity and thus improves brain function on a global scale.
Image showing the overlap of activation between the resting mode network and parts of the brain responsible social cognition.
Semax peptide in the Setting of Stroke
N-acetyl Semax amidate is used in Russia for the treatment of acute cerebral hypoxia, such as would be the case with stroke or traumatic brain injury. Research in rats has found N-acetyl Semax amidate stimulates a number of molecular mechanisms involved in gene transcription in the central nervous system (CNS). In concrete terms, n-acetyl Semax amidate stimulates changes in the expression of 24 different genes related to blood vessels function in the brain and spinal cord. These genes regulate everything from smooth muscle cell migration to red blood cell formation and the generation of new blood vessels. This correlation may explain why N-acetyl Semax amidate has shown neuroprotective properties in the setting of stroke. It appears that the peptide promotes the survival of neurons, stabilizes mitochondria and thus energy production, and improves the supply of nutrition to the brain.
Research carried out in Russia on patients involved in rehabilitation following a stroke indicates that the N-acetyl Semax amidate accelerates the rate at which function returns and results in greater overall level of function at the completion of therapy. According to Gusev et. al., “early rehabilitation and administration of Semax increase BDNF plasma levels, speed functional recovery, and improve motor performance.”
BDNF is a natural brain peptide that stimulates learning and memory. It is possible that N-acetyl Semax amidate, by stimulating BDNF, improves neuroplasticity in the brain and makes it easier for undamaged regions of the brain to learn tasks that were previously the responsibility of the damaged regions. Semax also activates the default mode network, as mentioned above, which is a critical component of resting attention and social function.