CX717 modulates the glutamatergic system in the brain by interacting with the glutamate receptor AMPA. Hence, CX717 drug is an ampakine. By acting on the glutamate system, CX717 strengthens synaptic connections. It possess cognitive enhancing properties in animal models, but more research is needed in humans.
How Does CX717 Strengthen Synapses?
CX717 strengthens the synapses between neurons by promoting a neurophysiological process known as Long-Term Potentiation (LTP). Specifically, CX717 enhances LTP by:
- Directly acting upon AMPA Receptors and activating them
- Indirectly, by enhancing NMDA Receptor activity (another glutamate receptor) by removing magnesium block of NMDA (via AMPA activation)
CX717 is still under clinical investigations and as a result, the exact dosage regime is not known. However, in clinical studies doses range between 200mg-1000mg per day.
Is CXC717 an Effective Cognitive Enhancer?
There are a series of both preclinical and clinical evidence suggesting that Ampakines, in general, have beneficial effects upon cognition. Specifically,
- Ampakine drugs have been linked with a cumulative enhancement of performance in a spatial short-term memory task in rats
- Neurobiological studies have shown that Ampakines produce a threefold alteration in the encoding and organization of information in normal brains overall enhancing cognition 4
- In healthy elderly volunteers, Ampakines produced a significant enhancement in memory performance in assigned tasked.
- In healthy young volunteers, Ampakines have been linked with improved of most aspects of memory (except for task requiring cued recall)
In general, CX717 like modafinil has shown to produce beneficial effects on cognition:
- In non-human Primates, CX717 has been shown to indeed enhance cognition by promoting the activity of hippocampal cells in the brain
- In humans, CX717(1000mg/day) has been linked to improvement in attention-based task performance
However, researchers have also reported negative findings:
- In rats, CX717 was linked to detrimental effects in object recognition memory tasks
- In humans, a range of doses was not effective at reversing performance and alertness deficits associated with night work shifts .
Possible Uses for CXC717: Beyond Cognitive Enhancement
Ampakines have been suggested for use, not only for cognitive enhancement in healthy individuals but also for the treatment of the following medical conditions:
- Schizophrenia: Clinical studies have shown that Ampakines significantly boost the antipsychotic properties of clozapine; moreover Ampakines correct the behavior of animal models of schizophrenia
- Clinical Depression: In animal models of depression Ampakines have been linked with mood enhancing properties
- Rett’s Syndrome: In animal models of Rett Syndrome Ampakines have the ability to restore abnormal breathing frequency associated with this genetic condition
- Alzheimer’s disease: Due to the ability of Ampakines to significantly improve short-term memory and task performance memory it has been suggested for use in Alzheimer’s disease .
- Huntington’s Disease: Chronic treatment with Ampakines have been linked to profound improvement in cognitive difficulties associated with early stages of Huntington’s disease
- Angelmans’s Disease: Ampakine drugs may have a crucial role in the treatment of Angelmans’s disease since they reverse associated neuron structural abnormalities ultimately enhancing LTP and preventing learning impairments
- Autism: In autism, Ampakines have been linked to marked improvement in social cognition promoting sociability in animal models of autism .
CX717 and the Military
Ampakines are under clinical investigation by the US military army as:
- Cognitive enhancers and alertness promoters (like modafinil) for soldiers in high-stress extended combat situations
- Neuroprotective agents against neurotoxic insults
Is CX717 dosing Safe?
CX717 is well tolerated by most people; it is linked to a small number of adverse effects which are:
Consequences of Long-Term CX717 Use
Ampakines due to their innate ability to enhance glutamate signaling chronic use can potentially be associated with the following worrisome adverse events:
- Excitotoxicity: A process by which nerve cells are damaged/killed due to excess stimulation by glutamate
- Poor Emotional Regulation and Impaired Behavioural Inhibition: Due to excess synapse formation in the brain regions controlling the processes of emotional and affective functions.
- Development of autistic traits (in teens, adolescents, and young adults):Sustained heightened synapse activity can lead to reduced normal developmental synaptic elimination (known as synaptic pruning; reduced synaptic pruning has been linked to the development of autistic traits.
- Impairments in Spatial Memory and Motor function. By enhancing LTP Ampakines decrease another neurophysiological process known as long-term Depression (LTD); this process is crucial for spatial recognition and motor function.
Should I Use CX717 drug?
Ampakines are a class of cognitive enhancers that may be of benefit not only as nootropics but also for the treatment of various neurological and psychiatric diseases. While promising agents, very little is known about their overall physiological effects and have been linked with significant dangers.
CX717 drug is only of its kind to reach phase 1 clinical studies for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease as it showed great benefits in animal studies. However, CX-717 approval was halted as it was linked to marked brain tissue damage in animal and the FDA concluded that it required further animal testing before it can be assessed in humans.
Overall due to so little evidence concerning its effectiveness and safety in humans, it is advised that CX-717 (and as an extension Ampakines) should not be taken recreationally as cognitive enhancers. Moreover, under no circumstances should they be given to healthy children, teens and young adults as they are very prone to developing autistic traits that occur as a result of sustained enhanced synapse activity.