|By Jonathan Roseland||Connect|
It's primary clinical purpose is treatment of Neurodegenerative diseases. As any informed Biohacker knows, few drugs are designed for the specific purpose of upgrading performance in otherwise healthy people. In this regard, Cerebrolysin has a similar research profile to other popular smart drugs I'm well acquainted with.
This article is mostly going to focus on decoding what the human studies are saying about Cerebrolysin and how this squares up with the anecdotal experiences of Biohackers online. For more of my own personal experiences, thoughts and comparisons please see the written and video reviews in the sidebar.
This is a peptide based Nootropic with an impressive 165 human studies referenceable on Pubmed, over 30 human clinical trials have been done with Cerebrolysin in the past 10 years alone which is an appreciable amount of research. Piracetam has approximately the same amount of recent human trials.
Derived from Pig Brains
Yes, it is a peptide that comes from purified porcine (pig) brain proteins! Which will make it a Nootropic that a lot of people categorically reject, however the risk of prion disease seems none-existent. There have been hundreds of meta analysis papers published and I read online many detailed anecdotal accounts by Biohackers and none of them reported incidences of infection. This is a pharmaceutical drug which is produced to stringent quality standards. You can be assured that it's tested thoroughly to ensure that it's safe.
One English Biohacker explained
The standard method of sterilising (suspected) prions on medical tools is hydrolysis - via immersion in a dilute NaOH solution.
This is how cerebrolysin is made, and it is even stored in ampoules in a dilute NaOH solution too.
A Neurotrophic Nootropic
The most significant benefit that otherwise healthy people can expect from Cerebrolysin thanks to it's Neurotropic mechanism is improved long term memory.
A European Biohacker on Longecity very articulately explained the connection between long term memory and the Neurotropic mechanism:
Memory is largely handled and processed at a brain structure called the hippocampus. In order for it to process data (to be memorized) it has to receive data from the sensory organs, vision, hearing, touch, smell etc. This data is transmitted along nerve fibers which in reality are neurons connected end to end with the understanding that on end of a long extension of one neuron (the axon) connects with a short extension of the next neuron (the dendrite) all these extensions originate from the body of the neuron (brain cell).
What complicates matters is that these data are in the form of electrical impulses and that the connection (called a synapse) is not 100%, i.e there is a GAP between the axon and the dendrite. The latter problem is solved by a substance called: neurotransmitters. The are expressed at the gap (called synaptic cleft) so the signal can traverse the gap assisted by this neurotransmitter substance. Examples of neurotransmitters are acetylcholine, serotonine etc . For a memory to be recorded as long term memory, the signal has to pass frequently, much like if you pass through a lawn frequently you will leave a trail of dead grass. This requires synaptic strengthening.
How is this achieved. We got to delve deeper here. Neurotransmitters work by coupling with receptors and thereby transfer the signal on so to say. To strengthen the synaptic passing of the signal we need more receptors and or more synapses. The formation of new synapses is called synaptogenesis. How is this acieved? Well receptors as well as synapses being constructed mainly of protein, we would require protein synthesis, the production of protein which is done by the cell itself (in-house factory). In the process of protein synthesis a factor is needed, its called Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) for short.
The best study I found was a 2016 randomized, double-blind clinical trial entitled (partially) Synergistic Increase of Serum BDNF in Alzheimer Patients Treated with Cerebrolysin, studied 52 patients who were administered Cerebrolysin for 16 weeks
A significant increase of serum BDNF values with respect to baseline was observed at week 16 in patients treated with Cerebrolysin alone or in combination with donepezil...
The trial observed that Cerebroslyn increases BDNF by nearly 300% over 16 weeks of dosing yet the BDNF returns to baseline after 12 weeks.
These results indicate that the significant increase of circulating BDNF induced by Cerebrolysin vanished 12 weeks after stopping its administration...
In summary, results of the present investigation indicate that: (1) Cerebrolysin increases serum BDNF levels in [Alzheimer] patients and the combined therapy with donepezil augments and prolongs this effect... higher BDNF levels at baseline and week 16 are associated with and predict a better cognitive improvement in ApoE4 patients treated with Cerebrolysin.
From a 2012 paper out of the University of California
Cerebrolysin is a neuropeptide preparation which mimics the action of endogenous neurotrophic factors on brain protection and repair...
Neuroprotective effects of Cerebrolysin on experimentally induced traumatic spinal cord injury have shown that Cerebrolysin prevents apoptosis of lesioned motoneurons and promotes functional recovery.
A European Biohacker used it extensively and reported on the effects on memory
In terms of memory, recall feels improved but mainly on medium to long-term memory, I don't detect any improvements in working memory...
One London Biohacker reported
There had been one thing that I have been unable to get from my current nootropic stack - the feeling of youth. I always feel slow these days compared to when I was 18-20, I always look back and wish I could get that kind of mental energy back, the way I wouldn't get tired at night and want to go home.
Cerebrolysin brought it back, this enthusiasm and mental speed, and youthful positive energy, and not being mentally tired so easily. I flew through my work which in the past would have shattered me, and I chatted up a 23 year old girl whilst walking home, I was mentally quick and positive, she loved it.
It was like when I was 20 again, I could just feel this youthful mental energy all over me.