Noopept (n-phenylacetyl-l-prolylglycine ethyl ester or GVS-111) is an ampakine nootropic similar in action to the racetam-class of compounds. Noopept is up to 1000-times more potent than the original racetam, Piracetam.
Noopept was patented by Russian-based pharmaceutical company JSC LEKKO Pharmaceuticals in the 1996. Research shows Noopept has similar effects, but works differently than other nootropics in the racetam-family.
Noopept is not considered a true “racetam” because it doesn’t have a 2-oxo-pyrrolidine core.
Noopept does not appear in blood samples when taken as a supplement. Instead it elevates concentrations of cycloprolylglycine (CPG) in the brain.
Noopept is patented in both Russia and the USA. It is sold as a prescription drug in Russia, and other countries that were part of the Soviet Union. And as a supplement in the United States.
- Brain Optimization: Noopept increases Nerve Growth Factor (NGF) and Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF). Critical for neuroplasticity and Long-Term Potentiation. Brain health gets a boost along with long-term memory.
- Neuroprotection: Noopept prevents the release of excess glutamate in your brain. Glutamate is the brain’s primary excitatory neurotransmitter. When there’s a lack of oxygen in the brain, neurons can’t receive glutamate. This leads to toxic levels of glutamate within brain cells. And can result in neuron damage and death. Diminishing this neurotoxic overload with Noopept is potent neuroprotection.[ii]
- Brain Waves: Noopept boosts Alpha and Beta brain wave activity. You become calmer and more creative. It’s easier to go into a flow state. And you are prone to making innovative and resourceful decisions.
Noopept (n-phenylacetyl-l-prolylglycine ethyl ester or GVS-111) is often included in the racetam-family of nootropic compounds. But is not a true “racetam” because it does not have a 2-oxo-pyrrolidine nucleus.
Noopept was developed in Russia where it is called Ноопепт or GVS-111. Russian-based pharmaceutical company JSC LEKKO Pharmaceuticals synthesized Noopept in 1996 based off the endogenous neuropeptide cycloprolylglycine (CPG).
One of the newer synthetic nootropic compounds, Noopept is known as a cognitive enhancer. And is known for its anxiolytic, or anti-anxiety effects.
Noopept is considered to be up to 1000-times more potent than Piracetam. As an ampakine nootropic, it helps increase attention span, alertness and boosts all three levels of memory. Memory formation, retention and recall.
Ampakines tend to have a stimulant effect. But do not produce the same stimulant side effects as Ritalin or coffee from prolonged use.
Noopept vs. Piracetam: What’s the Difference?
Russian-based pharmaceutical company JSC LEKKO Pharmaceuticals developed Noopept in the late 1996 as a peptide analogue of the original nootropic Piracetam.[v]
Noopept and Piracetam are both water-soluble. And both Noopept and Piracetam are cognitive enhancers. Both have neuroprotective and anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) qualities.[vi] Both racetams are able to improve learning and memory. And both are able to repair brain damage.
But Noopept has additional benefits not shared with Piracetam. First, the effective dose of Noopept compared to Piracetam is 1,000-times lower. A typical dose of Noopept is 10 – 30 mg while Piracetam is often dosed up to 3 or 4,000 mg.
Second, Piracetam facilitates only the early stages of the memory process. On the other hand, Noopept influences memory consolidation AND retrieval steps as well. So Noopept helps you develop the memory, retain the memory, and then recall what you have stored in memory.[vii]
Noopept also has additional selective anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) action. Researchers believe this is due in part to Noopept’s antioxidant effect, anti-inflammatory action, and the ability to prevent the neurotoxic effect of too much calcium and glutamate.
How does Noopept work in the Brain?
Noopept boosts brain health and function in several ways. But two in particular stand out.
- Noopept modulates AMPA and NMDA receptors and acetylcholine (ACh) transmission. Noopept boosts the level of cycloprolylglycine (CPG) in the brain. CPG is a dipeptide consisting of proline and glycine which acts as a modulator of acetylcholine transmission, and AMPA and NMDA receptors.
When brain cells are starved of oxygen, glutamate which is your brain’s primary excitatory neurotransmitter, does not work efficiently with neuroreceptors. The result can be a toxic buildup of glutamate within brain cells. Causing neuron damage and ultimately, neuron death.
Noopept modulates neuroreceptor function keeping glutamate transmission at normal levels. Protecting neurons and other brain cells from glutamate damage.
Noopept has also been shown to modulate acetylcholine flow in your brain. Restoring the harmony of glutamate and acetylcholine function not only protects your brain from damage. It can boost cognition, memory, learning, recall, mood and relieve anxiety.
- Noopept increases Nerve Growth Factor (NGF), Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) and mRNA. NGF and BDNF are directly related to neuroplasticity. This ability to repair and even grow new brain cells can have profound implications. Particularly with someone with neurodegenerative brain damage like Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s. And even affecting Long-Term Potentiation needed for long-term memory development.
mRNA affects the expression of genes and intracellular communication in brain cells. This ongoing brain signaling and gene expression within brain cells is required for healthy cognition.
One study conducted in Moscow showed long-term use of Noopept boosted NGF, BDNF and mRNA. The animal subjects in this study showed no sign of tolerance. And long-term use of Noopept even potentiated the neurotrophic effect.[viii]
How things go bad
But glutamate can be toxic to neurons. And too much of it in your brain can kill brain cells. Lou Gehrig’s Disease for example, is caused by excess glutamate.
But glutamate is a pivotal neurotransmitter in the brain. It links the brain circuits involved in memory, learning and perception.
↑ Too much glutamate can kill neurons
↓ Too little glutamate can cause problems with memory, learning and perception
↓ Acetylcholine levels decline
↓ Nerve Growth Factor declines
↓ Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor declines
All of these changes can happen at any age. And are a product of the food we eat, what we drink, lifestyle habits, the air we breathe and more.
So Noopept can help for age-related cognitive decline, as well as a student looking to do better in school. By boosting NGF, BDNF and acetylcholine, and controlling glutamate in the brain.
Noopept to the rescue
Similar to the AMPA receptor, the NMDA receptor is also associated with glutamate and calcium use in your brain. They work together to modulate how neurons use glutamate.
Noopept modulates levels of glutamate within and between neurons. It prevents glutamate toxicity, and influences Long-Term Potentiation (LTP). LTP is associated with neuroplasticity that allows long-term memories to form.
There is clinical evidence that Noopept boosts communication and neuron signaling. By boosting Alpha and Beta brain wave activity. You become calmer and more creative. It’s easier to go into a flow state. And you are prone to making innovative and resourceful decisions.
Noopept produces an anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) effect. It stimulates dopamine receptors (D2 and D3) and acetylcholine nicotinic receptors. And Noopept also seems to modulate some serotonin receptors. All contributing to a better mood and less anxiety.
Noopept has been shown in the lab to boost Nerve Growth Factor (NGF) and Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF). NGF and BDNF are both involved in neuroplasticity, and the repair and replacement of damaged brain cells. Resulting in overall better brain health, memory and cognition.[ix]
Noopept is water-soluble and quickly enters your brain after you take it. Once in your brain, it boosts signal transmission, and protects neurons.
How does Noopept feel?
Nootropics users report:
- Noopept as a study aid. On its own, Noopept increases focus and attention for many neurohackers. Mental arithmetic and grasping difficult concepts is easier.
- Increased verbal fluidity. Your conversation skills could increase with Noopept. Vocabulary comes easier. Being able to focus contributes to a more balanced dialogue. Neurohackers report being more outgoing, friendly and less self-conscious.
- Improved mood. With Noopept you may find yourself better able to deal with stressful situations and work issues that normally get you down. Once you get past the first few weeks of unpleasant memories related to PTSD you may find overwhelming emotions will subside. You could feel detached in a pleasant way from painful memories.
- Music appreciation. Many users report increased pleasure when listening to music while using Noopept. For some it takes music to a different plane. Distinguishing between instruments in sound tracks is easier. As a whole, music sounds better.
- Long-term memory. Noopept affects NGF and BDNF which affects long-term potentiation. Some neurohackers report memories long forgotten suddenly spring up. Which could be good or bad I suppose depending on the memory. But reports say memories are clear. And if they’re unpleasant there is an emotional detachment shielding from unpleasant feelings.
You should be able to experience the effects of Noopept soon after you take it. It’s water-soluble and enters your cells quickly especially if you take it sublingually.
A word of caution however; don’t go over the recommended 10 – 30 mg per day dose! You will not experience any added benefit, and could bring on unwanted side effects.
There is some debate on the water-solubility of Noopept. It’s not truly fat-soluble but it certainly doesn’t hurt to use a quality “good fat” when taking your Noopept dose.
Noopept increases Nerve Growth Factor & BDNF
A study published by the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences in Moscow shows that Noopept stimulates Nerve Growth Factor (NGF) and Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF).
In this study, researchers studied the effect of single and long-term treatment (28 days) of Noopept. They found that one-time treatment boosted mRNA in the cerebral cortex of rats. mRNA is a molecule in brain cells that carries codes from DNA where they specify the amino acid sequence of proteins.
And long-term treatment of Noopept increased Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF). The researchers speculated that this sequence of events in the brain plays a role in the restoration of neurons.
Improving neurotrophin synthesis in the hippocampus boosts cognitive function. Particularly consolidation and delayed memory retrieval.
The research team concluded that Noopept “holds much promise to prevent the development of Alzheimer’s disease in patients with mild cognitive impairment”.[x]
Noopept boosts Brain Waves
Researchers in Moscow studied the effects of injecting Noopept in rats to see how it would affect brain waves.
The team found that Noopept increased Alpha and Beta brain wave activity throughout the brain.
You experience Alpha waves as you become more relaxed. Alpha waves are associated with super-learning, flow state and joy. Beta waves are associated with concentration, alertness and cognition.
The researchers observed that NMDA receptors were involved with a single injection of Noopept. While AMPA receptors were activated after longer-term use of Noopept.[xi]
NMDA receptors are associated with Long-Term Potentiation (long-term memory) and neuroplasticity. AMPA receptors are associated with increased brain signaling activity. Boosting cognition and memory.
Noopept improves memory
Noopept is known within the nootropic community for enhancing memory. And dozens of studies support this claim of better memory when using Noopept.
One study done at the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences in Moscow experimented with Noopept on rats. The animals were trained in passive avoidance response.
The animal’s ability to both form a memory and retain a memory was impaired. But once the rats received a dose of Noopept, they were able to retain a memory and retrieve that memory later.
In other words, Noopept normalized learning capacity in animals with damage done to their cerebral cortex. And promoted training ability in rats with a hereditary learning deficit.
The researchers noted that “Noopept improves all three stages of memory”. And was most pronounced in those with impaired memory function.[xii]
Another study, again done with rats noted that Noopept stimulated learning after just a single administration. And repeated administration actually increased the number of successful learners among the animals who failed the initial training.[xiii]
Recommended Noopept dosage is 10 – 30 mg per day.
Noopept is sold in tablet, capsule and powder form. Tablets and capsules are usually 10 mg each.
Noopept is primarily water-soluble nootropic, but won’t easily dissolve in water or juice. So it may help if you take it with a meal containing healthy fats. Or with a tablespoon of extra virgin, expeller cold-pressed coconut or olive oil. Or other similar healthy fat to ensure quick absorption.
For even quicker absorption you can use Noopept sublingually. Let the tablet or powder dissolve under your tongue so it can go straight into your blood-stream, and into your brain. Bypassing your digestive system completely.
Noopept is a synthetic nootropic and consider non-toxic. So is considered well-tolerated and safe. As long as you stay within the recommended dosage.
Side effects are rare but can include fatigue, headaches, insomnia or stomach upset. Side effects are often a result of unusually high doses of the nootropic.
Headaches from using Noopept typically happen when you forget to combine it with a good choline supplement. Headaches are often a symptom of a choline deficit in your brain.
Noopept is sold in tablet, capsule and powder form. Tablets and capsules are usually 10 mg each.
In Russia and some other Eastern European countries, Noopept is a prescription drug.
Nootropics Expert Recommendation
Noopept 10 – 30 mg per day
We recommend using Noopept as a nootropic supplement.
Your body does not make Noopept on its own. So to get its benefits you must take it as a supplement.
Noopept is especially helpful for those looking to boost cognition, memory and recall. This nootropic helps boost the activity of acetylcholine in your brain. It modulates glutamate receptors which normalizes optimal neurotransmitter function. And increases Nerve Growth Factor (NGF) and Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) which helps the neuroplasticity needed for Long-Term Potentiation.
Noopept is also particularly useful to students and executives who want to boost cognition, learning and memory. My experience using Noopept shows it helps boost study scores, work flow, learning and memory.
Noopept also helps improve verbal fluidity and sociability. Words seem to come easily, and vocabulary you didn’t know you had access to come into play.
Music sounds richer and fuller, and your listening experience enters a new level of music appreciation.
You should not exceed doses of more than 30 mg per day. Start with 10 mg and see how you respond.