Selank is a peptide made up of six amino acids and is designed to be an analogue of human tuftsin, which is an immunostimulatory peptide consisting of four amino acids. Selank has a range of neuro-biochemical actions and combines many benefits associated with the use of antidepressants and psychostimulants, such as activation of the brain monoaminergic systems, dopamine synthesis and modulation of the tyrosine hydroxylase activity. The peptide has been shown to increase serotonin levels, dopamine synthesis and dopamine metabolites in rat brain to produce anti-anxiety effects . Other studies have investigated whether selank is able to effect learning and memory processes via serotonin metabolism in rats. The findings of this study provided direct evidence that selank was able to enhance memory storage processes if it was injected whilst the rat was learning. Selank therefore acts as a nootropic peptide and likely improves brain function by modulating serotonin and its metabolite concentrations in the brain . Selank also has the unique ability in elevating the expression of brain-derived neurotropic factors in the hippocampus of rats following intranasal administration . A decrease in levels of these neurotropic factors have previously been shown to impair learning and memory and it is likely that increasing the concentrations of these factors will stimulate the central nervous system to improve memory and learning . In clinical trials, the peptide was shown to provide a prolonged nootropic and anti-anxiety effect, which is beneficial in treating generalized anxiety disorder . Selank is particularly useful in treating these disorders when compared to traditional anxiety medications, such as benzodiazepines, since it is non-sedating and does not cause negative cognitive side effects, such as confusion and slowed thinking. Studies have also noted that selank is not addictive and that it is not associated with withdrawal symptoms. The drug Semax contains selank as the active ingredient and was developed by the Institute of Molecular Genetics in Russia. This pharmaceutical formulation of selank is currently available in pharmacies in Russia and Ukrainian. Selank can therefore ease anxiety and boost mood and cognitive performance without the common side effects associated with traditional anti-anxiety medications, such as Ritalin.
Selank should be reconstituted in BAC water and can be administered as a nasal spray or via subcutaneous injection. As a nasal spray, selank can be dosed between 400 mcg and 5 mg split over three administrations per day. By injection, selank can be dosed between 250 mcg and 3 mg once or twice per day. The solution should be stored between 4-8°C and remains active for 20 days.
No adverse side effects have been reported following selank administration, even at very high doses and the peptide is generally well tolerated and not addictive.
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- Semenova, T.P., et al., [Experimental optimization of learning and memory processes by selank]. Eksp Klin Farmakol, 2010. 73(8): p. 2-5.
- Inozemtseva, L.S., et al., Intranasal administration of the peptide Selank regulates BDNF expression in the rat hippocampus in vivo. Doklady Biological Sciences, 2008. 421(1): p. 241-243.
- Alonso, M., et al., BDNF-triggered events in the rat hippocampus are required for both short- and long-term memory formation. Hippocampus, 2002. 12(4): p. 551-60.