Semax Fact Sheet
Semax Peptide Research
Semax is a synthetic peptide drug originally developed in Russia to prevent and treat circulatory disorders, such as strokes and brain damage. It has neuroprotective, nootropic, and neurorestorative properties, which can benefit cognitive function and overall brain health.
Semax works by stimulating parts of the brain involved in the release of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which plays a role in neurogenesis and the survival of existing neurons. It also helps prevent the breakdown of enkephalins, which are important for pain relief, reducing inflammation, immunity, memory, learning, and emotional behavior.
Semax and Attention and Short-Term Memory
Semax has been found to rapidly elevate the levels and expression of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and its signaling receptor TrkB in the hippocampus, a region of the brain associated with learning and memory. BDNF is a protein that supports the survival of existing neurons, encourages the formation of new neurons and synapses, and is vital for long-term memory.
A 1996 study found that Semax improved attention and short-term memory in 11 healthy subjects performing 8-hour work shifts. Another study done in Russia found that Semax improved memory retention and attention in men in good health.
Research has also shown that Semax can have a protective effect on episodic memory function. In a study involving Sprague-Dawley rats exposed to hypoxic conditions, Semax treatment was found to prevent impairments in the novel object recognition (NOR) test, which is a measure of episodic memory performance.
Semax and Non-Proliferative Diabetic Neuropathy
Research has shown that Semax can be beneficial in the treatment of non-proliferative diabetic neuropathy. A study involving 114 patients with non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy showed positive dynamics in visual, perimetric, and electrophysiological characteristics in patients treated with Semax. The most pronounced and long-standing positive effect on visual function was documented in the group that underwent endonasal electrophoresis of 0.1% Semax preparation.
Semax and Recovery from Stroke/Hypoxia
Research has shown that Semax can stimulate operative memory and attention, increase resistance to hypoxia, and improve brain circulation in experimental animals and humans. It has been found to have a positive influence on the rate of restoration of damaged neurological functions, particularly in terms of reducing general cerebral and focal, especially motor disorders, in patients with acute ischemic stroke. In animal studies, Semax has been found to protect memory function in rats exposed to hypoxia, hyperoxia, and oscillatory hypoxia-hyperoxia.
Semax and Cognitive Performance, Mental Clarity and Focus
Semax has also been studied for its potential applications in treating memory impairment, decreased efficiency of mental labor, and symptoms associated with post-COVID syndrome. The peptide is believed to enhance the transcription of neurotrophins and their receptors, modulate the expression of genes involved in the immune response, and suppress the expression of inflammatory genes.
In a study involving a rat model of cerebral ischemia, Semax was found to suppress inflammatory and cell death processes and activate recovery processes. This was evidenced by the upregulation of active CREB (a protein involved in neuroprotection and recovery) in subcortical structures, including the focus of ischemic damage, and the downregulation of MMP-9, c-Fos, and active JNK (proteins involved in inflammation and cell death) in the adjacent frontoparietal cortex.
Semax and Epilepsy
In a study involving rats with epilepsy, Semax was found to reduce malondialdehyde (MDA) levels by up to 40.46% and synthesize three kinds of proteins that were not synthesized in epilepsy rats. These proteins had molecular weights of 93.54 kDa, 66.76 kDa, and 59.66 kDa. This suggests that Semax could potentially be used for the treatment of epilepsy.
Semax May Reduce Anxiety and Depression
In a study on rats, Semax was found to increase the proliferation of neuroglia, blood vessel endothelium, and progenitor cells in the subventricular zone. This suggests that Semax may have a trophic effect on the brain, promoting the growth and development of cells. In the same study, Semax was also found to reduce the manifestation of ischemic damage to the nervous tissue, possibly due to a decrease in vascular stasis symptoms.
Another study found that Semax had a more pronounced immunomodulatory effect compared to Cortexin, another peptide preparation, and both showed a stress-protective effect. This suggests that Semax could potentially help to mitigate the physiological responses to stress, which could in turn have a positive impact on mental health conditions like anxiety and depression.