‘Neurohacking’ cream that could help you learn languages or musical instruments faster could be available in UK within five years Dihexa was originally developed to help patients with memory loss conditions But drug is now being more widely used in the US to boost general brain power It is a neuropeptide, which can influence and change the body in a targeted way Other neuropeptides are being developed to combat MS, obesity and aging
A cream originally developed to help combat memory loss conditions is now being used to generally boost brain power – and could be available in the UK in as little as five years’ time.
Creators of Dihexa, a neuropeptide developed by Washington State University, say that using the drug could help people learn languages or to play a musical instrument faster than before.
The ‘neurohacking’ cream was initially developed to help slow down cell death and destructive enzymes that reduce memory and learning in patients with Alzheimer’s disease and cognitive impairment.
But having passed safety trials in the US, the drug is now being prescribed to people wanting to improve their general brain power.
Brain booster: A new drug originally developed to help people with Alzheimer’s is now being used to generally improve people’s memories, including their ability to learn new languages
Neuropeptides are small, protein-like molecules used by neurons to communicate with one another that can influence the body in a variety of ways, from pain relief and appetite, to metabolism, reproduction and memory.
They are part of a new wave of medicines called biologics, which are produced from living organisms or contain components of living organisms, and are more effective at targeting a specific condition.
Speaking to the Sunday Telegraph, Dr Daniel Stickler, of US biotech company Apeiron, said while he prescribes the drug for people who generally want to help boost their memory, there had been more resistance to using it among a UK audience.
He said: ‘When we were in London and meeting people, we were presenting this idea of improving human behaviour and we were finding that as long as there were other people worse off than them it was all OK, they just kept calm and carried on.
‘That mindset was very different for us coming from the US where we have a very large percentage of people who think, ‘I know I’m good but I want to get better.’ ‘
However, Stickler added that he believes attitudes will change, with the drug coming to the UK market within five years.
US biotech company Apeiron says patients in the US had been receptive to using the drug to enhance their general brain power, although there was resistance from a UK audience (file pic)
‘We’re going to see peptides overtake the pharmaceutical energy,’ he added.
Another neuropeptide currently being used to boost brain power is cerebrolysin, which derived from pigs’ brains – although it is not yet licensed here in the UK.
Trials show that the drug can help improve concentration, memory processing and mood in patients with vascular dementia.
Scientists have also been researching an experimental ‘nano-painkiller’ said to be more effective than morphine, but with a lower addiction risk.
Earlier this year, collaborating researchers at Paris-Saclay University in France gave their innovative drug to rats with painful, inflamed feet.
The animals seemed to be in less pain, but didn’t show any signs of dangerous side effects – namely, addiction – that come with opioid pain relievers.
Elsewhere, scientists are researching the use of peptides for a range of uses, from body-building and anti-aging, to combating obesity and multiple sclerosis.
Dihexa could be used to learn new musical instruments faster than before (file pic)
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