Before we delve into the extremely important question of why we need neuroprotection, let’s explore what neuroprotection really is. Neuroprotection is simply the steps or actions used to protect against neuronal injury or degeneration in the Central Nervous System (CNS) following acute disorders (e.g. stroke or nervous system injury or trauma) or as a result of chronic neurodegenerative diseases (e.g. Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, Multiple Sclerosis). In other words, the goal of neuroprotection is to limit neuronal dysfunction after CNS injury and an attempt to maintain the highest possible integrity of cellular interactions in the brain.
According to The National Stroke Association, stroke is the number one cause of adult disability in America (66% of survivors having some type of disability) – there are an estimated 15 million strokes cases occurring worldwide each year. There is a wide range of neuroprotection products available or under investigation and some products can potentially be used in more than one disorder, as many of the underlying mechanisms of damage to neural tissues (in both acute disorders and in chronic neurodegenerative diseases) are similar. A product which is highly regarded for its neuroprotective properties and for improving cognitive ability is Noopept.
Noopept is a peptide nootropic promoted worldwide as a nootropic and it is sold in the U.S. as a legal dietary supplement. Noopept is not from the racetam family but it is generally grouped together in the same category because it shares similar mechanisms of action with the racetam family. It is growing in popularity due to its effectiveness as a cognitive enhancing compound and because its active dose range is between 10mg to 30mg, which is much lower than compounds that offer similar effects such as the racetams. When compared to the traditional racetams, Noopept has been found to be, according to studies, 1000 times more potent than the prototypical racetam nootropic, piracetam.
Studies show that Noopept has high neuroprotective properties. The stimulation of the neurons caused by this health supplement prevents oxidative damage and death of cells in the human brain, due to aging. Many patients dealing with cognitive impairment regularly can benefit from a regular dosage of Noopept to prevent further dissociative cognitive functions. Noopept has been shown to increase two very special proteins in the body, namely, NGF (Nerve Growth Factor) and BDNF (Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor). While NGF is involved in the growth, maintenance, and survival of nerve cells, including brain cells; BDNF protein in the brain can contribute significantly to long-term memory improvements.
So, why is neuroprotection necessary? It is necessary because neuroprotection aims to prevent or slow disease progression and secondary injuries by halting or at least slowing the loss of neurons. A neuron is simply a “nerve cell” and is an electrically excitable cell that processes and transmits information through electrical and chemical signals. Neurons are the core components of the brain and spinal cord of the central nervous system (CNS), and of the ganglia of the peripheral nervous system (PNS).
In conclusion, neuroprotection is a broad term to cover any therapeutic strategy to prevent nerve cells called neurons from dying, and it usually involves an intervention, either a drug or a treatment. Thanks to recent progress in scientific research, particularly in the area of genetic studies and neuroprotection strategies, it is very likely that in the next few years we will produce new neuroprotective therapies for treating related diseases.
1.“The original novel nootropic and Neuroprotective agent Noopept” – Ostrovskaia Ru et al, Eksp Klin Farmakol. 2002 Sep-Oct;65(5):66-72.
2.“Neuroprotective and nootropic drug Noopept rescues α-Synuclein amyloid cytotoxicity” – Jia X et al, J Mol Biol. 2011 Dec 16;414(5):699-712.
3.“Noopept in the treatment of mild cognitive impairment in patients with stroke” – Amelin AV, Iliukhina AIu, Shmonin AA. Zh Nevrol Psikhiatr Im S S Korsakova. 2011
4.“Neuroprotective effect of novel cognitive enhancer Noopept on (Alzheimer Disease) AD-related cellular model involves the attenuation of apoptosis and tau hyperphosphorylation” -Rita U Ostrovskaya,1 Yulia V Vakhitova, et al.