Nefiracetam: a Potent Nootropic for Anxiety and Memory

20/05/2014 Tags: all

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Nefiracetam is among the most recently developed nootropics that is capable of enhancing cognition by boosting activity in certain brain regions. It is classed as a racetam but is less well known and used than other supplements in this family. It is derived from one of the first nootropics developed, Piracetam, although it appears to have more structural features in common with the nootropic; Aniracetam. Like Aniracetam, Nefiracetam is lipid soluble and can help to improve both learning capacity and memory, in addition to providing neuroprotective benefits. If you are considering using this great novel nootropic, it is advisable to first learn a little more about its benefits and mechanisms.


What are the Benefits of Nefiracetam?

The most common reason people use nootropics like Nefiracetam is for its cognitive enhancing properties. There are numerous areas of brain function that make up what we commonly refer to as cognition and this includes learning and memory, fluid intelligence, attention, concentration, planning, perception and control of impulses. Nefiracetam, along with other types of supplement in the racetam class, can help to significantly enhance many of these cognitive faculties. One area in which Nefiracetam may be particularly effective is improving the enhancement of long-term memory retention.

Studies have shown that Nefiracetam can lead to dramatic improvements in spatial (navigational) learning capabilities. It also appears to be an excellent enhancer of concentration, attention and focus when compared with other racetams such as Piracetam, Pramiracetam and Oxiracetam. Additionally, these benefits are not only limited to healthy individuals as this supplement can help to improve cognition in those with neurological disorders. Furthermore, using Nefiracetam can provide neuroprotective benefits with cytoprotective mechanisms that help to promote the survival of neurons, and better overall brain health.

Similarly to Aniracetam, Nefiracetam also has mood modulating effects useful for the purposes of reducing anxiety, stress, and perhaps even treating depression. These two supplements have somewhat similar mechanisms, however, Nefiracetam appears to provide a greater variety of benefits. To give an example, Nefiracetam shows a greater affinity for increasing GABA and monoamine activity, while the effect of Aniracetam in such areas is comparatively modest. This makes Nefiracetam a more potent anxiolytic than Aniracetam. Evidence to support this idea comes from studies that suggest Nefiracetam could be used as a treatment in cases of severe clinical depression. Other studies have indicated that this nootropic may also be useful as a treatment for different types of seizure that include convulsive, as well as non-convulsive types. This may be particularly useful when concerning seizures that originate from the amygdala, and can this supplement can reduce both the duration and frequency of seizures that result from strokes.

How Does Nefiracetam Work?

Nefiracetam has several types of mechanism. Some of these are similar to other more widely used racetams, while others may not be quite so familiar. Nefiracetam is able to prolong the amount of time calcium channels in neurons are open. This means that action potentials are more likely to be propagated, leading to an overall increase in brain activity. This can in turn lead to more efficient memory formation by promoting a phenomenon known as long-term potentiation (LTP). LTP is the process by which the synaptic connection between two simultaneously firing neurons is strengthened, and it is this process which aids in moving information from short-term memory to long-term memory.

Another mechanism associated with this supplement involves substances known as protein kinases, specifically protein kinase C and calmodulin-dependent protein kinase. These two protein kinases are involved in augmenting signals in cholinergic receptors which is vital for enhancing neuronal signals in general. One of the effects this has is to increase the concentration of the neurotransmitters glutamate and GABA in the brain. Both glutamate and acetylcholine (associated with cholinergic systems) are important for a variety of cognitive functions including learning and the formation of memories. These neurotransmitters are also thought to stimulate the formation of pathways and neurons in the brain, and thus contribute to greater synaptic plasticity. GABA meanwhile is the brain’s primary inhibitory neurotransmitter. It works by inhibiting action potentials which can aid to pacify an overactive brain. This makes it useful for reducing anxiety, stress and symptoms of depression as well as for promoting feelings of relaxation. 


Recommended Dosage for Nefiracetam

The research that has been carried out so far on Nefiracetam has used dosages that vary quite considerably. This has led some confusion and there does not yet appear to be a widely accepted dosage level. However, based on a review of currently available literature, a dosage range between 8 to 30mg for every kilogram of your body weight appears to be effective.

This is the equivalent to around 500 to 1,800mg assuming an average body weight. It should however be noted that body weight, biochemistry and physiology can differ significantly between individuals, so a certain amount of experimenting is advisable to deduce the best dosage level for you. As with any nootropic or supplement, you are advised to begin with relatively small dosages, and increase this slowly and incrementally once you are familiar and comfortable with the effects it has on you. This applies particularly to nootropics which are still considered to be somewhat experimental like Nefiracetam. Nefiracetam is lipid soluble, so it is a good idea to take this supplement with a glass of milk or other type of food that has good fat content.


Potential Side Effects of Nefiracetam

Like all nootropics, Nefiracetam does not appear to pose significant risks when concerning levels of toxicity or severe side effects. Unfortunately, studies on this supplement that have used human participants are somewhat limited, and consequently there has been no established upper limit when using this nootropic. However, research has demonstrated that Nefiracetam is still non-toxic in dosages of up to 900mg a day, with even higher dosages likely to still be safe for use by those in good health.

Nefiracetam may cause some side effects similar to those seen with the use of other racetams. This can include nausea, stomach discomfort, headaches, dizziness, fatigue and irritability. The headaches seen with this supplement are likely due to a choline deficiency as this supplement increases choline usage. As with many other racetams, this can easily be remedied by using a good quality choline supplement such as Citicoline or Centrophenoxine. Other types of side effects are rare and generally only seen when excessive dosages are used.