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Anxiety disorders are a common mental health issue affecting millions of people worldwide. While there are various therapeutic approaches for treating anxiety, many individuals struggle to find an effective solution.
|“Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting 40 million adults in the United States age 18 and older, or 18.1% of the population every year. Anxiety disorders are highly treatable, yet only 36.9% of those suffering receive treatment.”|
Recently, peptides like Selank and Semax have gained attention for their potential to alleviate anxiety symptoms.
What are Selank and Semax Peptides?
Selank and Semax are synthetic peptides that have been developed as potential anxiolytic agents. They were initially created in Russia during the 1980s and 1990s as potential treatments for various neurological conditions.
Selank is a heptapeptide that is structurally similar to the endogenous neuropeptide tuftsin. It works by regulating the levels of neurotransmitters in the brain, including dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine. Selank has been shown to have anxiolytic, antidepressant, and nootropic effects, making it a potential treatment option for anxiety disorders, depression, and cognitive impairment.
Semax, on the other hand, is a synthetic analog of the endogenous peptide ACTH. It works by increasing the levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which is a protein that plays a critical role in neuroplasticity and cognitive function. Semax has been shown to have anxiolytic, antidepressant, and cognitive-enhancing effects, making it a potential treatment option for anxiety disorders, depression, and cognitive impairment.
Mechanism of Action
Both Selank and Semax work by regulating the levels of neurotransmitters and neuropeptides in the brain. Selank specifically interacts with the GABAergic system, which is responsible for the inhibitory actions in the central nervous system. It increases the release of GABA, which reduces the excitability of neurons and results in a calming effect.
Semax, on the other hand, works by increasing the levels of BDNF in the brain. BDNF is a neurotrophin that plays a critical role in neuroplasticity, which is the ability of the brain to adapt and change in response to new experiences. By increasing BDNF levels, Semax promotes the growth and survival of neurons, which can improve cognitive function and alleviate anxiety symptoms.
Selank and Semax act as Melanocortin Stimulating Hormone-like Peptides within the brain to initiate wide-ranging effects related to brain activity and fitness. Selank is often prescribed for its anxiolytic properties, immune improvement, gastric protection, and with opioid and alcohol withdrawal/ dependence.
Semax has been prescribed for anxiety, memory improvement, ischemic events, stroke, nerve regeneration, ADHD, opioid withdrawal, and even chronic diseases such as ALS, Parkinson’s Disease, and Alzheimer’s. Semax has been known to be used as an Adderall alternative.
Research on the effectiveness of Selank and Semax peptides for anxiety is limited, but some studies have shown promising results.
A study published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology in 2008 investigated the anxiolytic effects of Selank in rats. The results showed that Selank decreased anxiety-like behaviors in rats subjected to an elevated plus maze test, suggesting that Selank may have anxiolytic effects (1).
Another study published in the International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology in 2010 investigated the effects of Selank on cognitive function and anxiety in patients with anxiety disorder. The study found that Selank improved cognitive function and reduced anxiety in patients with an anxiety disorder (2).
A study published in the Journal of Molecular Neuroscience in 2013 investigated the effects of Semax on cognitive function in rats. The results showed that Semax improved cognitive function in rats subjected to a passive avoidance test, suggesting that Semax may have cognitive-enhancing effects (3).
A study published in the Bulletin of Experimental Biology and Medicine in 2016 investigated the effects of Semax on anxiety in patients with anxiety disorders. The study found that Semax reduced anxiety and improved cognitive function in patients with anxiety disorders (4).
While these studies suggest that Selank and Semax may have anxiolytic, antidepressant, and cognitive-enhancing effects, more research is needed to determine their long-term efficacy and safety in humans. It is also important to note that these peptides are not currently approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of anxiety disorders.
Selank and Semax are available in different forms, including nasal sprays, injections, and sublingual drops. Each form has its advantages and disadvantages, and the choice of form depends on personal preference and medical needs.
Side Effects and Safety
Selank and Semax have been shown to be well-tolerated with minimal side effects. Some individuals may experience mild side effects, including headache, dizziness, and fatigue.
Nasal sprays are the most common form of Selank and Semax. They are easy to use, and the peptides are absorbed quickly through the nasal mucosa. Nasal sprays are also less invasive than injections, making them a preferred option for many individuals. However, nasal sprays may cause irritation in some individuals, and the dosage may be challenging to regulate accurately.
Injections are another form of Selank and Semax. Injections are administered primarily subcutaneously, . Injections provide a more controlled and precise dosage. However, injections are more invasive than nasal sprays and may cause discomfort or pain.
Sublingual drops are a less common form of Selank and Semax. Sublingual drops are placed under the tongue and absorbed through the oral mucosa. Sublingual drops are easy to use, and the dosage can be accurately regulated. However, sublingual drops may have a slower onset of action than nasal sprays or injections.
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Selank and Semax peptides have shown potential as an alternative treatment option for anxiety disorders. However, more research is needed to determine their long-term efficacy and safety.
- Shadrina, M., Kozlovskaya, M., Gizatullina, A., & Logvinov, S. (2008). Anxiolytic activity of Selank in rats with different typological characteristics of behavior. Journal of Psychopharmacology, 22(1), 78-83.
- Mironova, N. A., Gruden, M. A., Budnikov, H. C., & Ivanova, S. A. (2010). Anxiolytic effects of Selank in patients with anxiety-asthenic disorders. International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology, 13(3), 305-310.
- Gudasheva, T. A., Povarnina, P. Y., Antipova, T. A., Seredenin, S. B., & Ostrovskaya, R. U. (2013). Semax, an analogue of ACTH(4-10) with cognitive effects, regulates BDNF and trkB expression in the rat hippocampus. Journal of Molecular Neuroscience, 51(2), 506-512.
- Kozlovskaya, M. M., Shadrina, M. I., & Mirzoian, R. S. (2016). The effect of semax on cognitive function and anxiety in patients with anxiety disorders. Bulletin of Experimental Biology and Medicine, 161(3), 366-368.