Did you know that our brain’s neurons communicate with each other by passing chemical messages across tiny gaps called synapses? Thanks to these synapses, information is stored in our brains, facilitating easier message delivery. Recently, an FGL peptide drug has been shown to strengthen the synapses, improving cognitive functions and other conditions.
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Find Out How FGL Peptide Can Be a Cognitive Enhancer for Humans
What Is FGL Peptide?
Standing for ‘Fibroblast Growth Loop,’ FGL is a small peptide with neurotrophic properties derived from the neural cell adhesion molecule (NCAM). NCAM is a molecule that plays a vital role in neural development and synaptic activities associated with memory and learning. Due to the effects on the NCAM by a mechanism discussed below, FGL can have cognition-enhancing effects.
How Does FGL Peptide Work?
After being administered into the brain, FGL penetrates the blood-brain barrier, which is a barrier between the brain’s blood vessels and the cells, then performs its activity in the brain. While the FGL peptide can produce a cascade of effects on the human brain, this article focuses on two primary mechanisms, which involve the NCAM and the synapses.
FGL Peptide and the NCAM
According to a review, NCAM functions by binding to fibroblast growth factor receptors (FGFRs), which activate neural development pathways. As an FGFRs agonist, FGL mimics the activity of NCAM in binding to the FGFRs. While binding to FGFRs, FGL activates the signaling pathways controlled by the FGFRs. This activation strengthens synaptic connections through a mechanism associated with memory and learning.
FGL Peptide and the Synapses
According to a review, FGL stimulates the activity-dependent delivery of receptors to the synapses, enhancing synaptic transmission. Notably, FGL does not lead to spontaneous enhanced synaptic transmission. Instead, the peptide promotes long-term potentiation (LTP) only in response to synaptic activity. Long-term potentiation in the brain region treated with FGL is almost twice as strong as in the untreated areas.
This activity-dependent quality is essential because if a peptide uncontrollably increases synaptic transmission, it might excessively stimulate the brain, resulting in epilepsy. By enhancing synaptic transmission only in response to synaptic activity, the FGL peptide helps efficiently encode information, resulting in improved memory. This suggests that the FGL peptide may be particularly useful in treating conditions where synaptic transmission is weakened, such as Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and depression.
FGL Peptide’s Role in the Human Brain
FGL Peptide Can Improve Memory and Learning Ability
According to a review, FGL enhances memory in mice due to increased synaptic transmission. After being injected subcutaneously into the animal models, FGL improves several forms of memory and learning, including fear memory, spatial memory, and motor learning. In particular, improved spatial memory can last up to two weeks after FGL administration. Notably, the animal models do not behave abnormally in behavioral tests, suggesting that FGL does not cause anxiety.
In addition to enhancing many forms of memory, the FGL peptide can even prevent spatial memory impairment due to chronic stress. According to a study on rats subjected to chronic stress, administration of FGL during the four weeks of continuous stress can prevent the damaging effects of chronic stress on spatial memory. These findings suggest that FGL might be beneficial in treating cognitive impairment.
FGL Peptide Can Treat Alzheimer’s Disease
Although the exact causes of AD are not fully understood, scientists believe it is attributed to the failure of the brain proteins to function correctly, disrupting brain cells and triggering toxic events. One of the causes under intensive investigation is the formation of amyloid-beta (Aβ), which harms neurons and disrupts cell communication. Such a series of events damage the region of the brain that controls memory.
According to a review, injecting Aβ into rats results in the animals developing signs of AD-like symptoms and suffering from poor memory. However, administrating FGL into the same subjects can stop the development of these harmful consequences. In addition, Aβ-injected rats show fewer amyloid plaques and improved memory after FGL administration than untreated subjects.
FGL Peptide Can Reverse Depression
The NCAM plays a vital role in brain plasticity, which is the brain’s ability to change to acquire new information and skills. On the other hand, brain plasticity is strongly associated with the development of depression. According to a study, FGL administration can mitigate depression-like symptoms in NCAM-deficient mice. Repeated administration of FGL can also improve the survival of newly formed neurons. The study concluded that NCAM deficiency in mice results in depression-like signs, which FGL can reverse.
Is FGL Peptide Safe?
As mentioned earlier, many people might be concerned about the risk of overly boosting the brain, leading to severe events such as epilepsy. Nevertheless, current research has shown that the FGL peptide does not have significant undesirable effects. An 8-day study on 24 healthy male participants showed no safety concerns following intranasal doses up to 200 mg of FGL. Only a small percentage of participants reported mild and transient adverse events such as uncomfortable sensations in the nose and runny eyes.
In addition to its proven safety, FGL can be administered in a variety of ways, including by subcutaneous injection or intranasal administration. This diversity in drug delivery can maximize its effectiveness and tolerability by direct administration into the brain ventricles.
In conclusion, the FGL peptide can offer new therapies in disorders due to impaired synaptic transmission, including Alzheimer’s disease and depression. On top of that, FGL can be a potent cognitive enhancer for humans with minimal risk of adverse effects.
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