Synapsin® and Cognitive Function

Brain fog is a term used loosely to denote cognitive dysfunction such as lack of mental clarity, memory problems, and inability to concentrate or focus. Causes of brain fog can range from stress, lack of sleep, hormonal changes, diet, medications, and certain medication conditions. Examples of medical conditions that correlate to varying degrees of cognitive dysfunction include Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), chronic stress, diabetes, stroke/transient ischemic attack (TIA), traumatic brain injury, post-concussion syndrome and chronic inflammatory response (CIRS).

Synapsin® is comprised of ginsenoside Rg3, nicotinamide riboside, and inactive ingredients used to aid in absorption and distribution. Ginseng and ginsenosides have been shown to improve learning and memory as determined by behavioral analysis by a mechanism involving alteration of synaptic plasticity (strengthens synapse between neurons) and an increase in neurogenesis (generation of neurons), thereby affecting neuronal density (Kim, 2013). What this means is ginseng is thought to strengthen the synapse between brain cells and create more neurons, which are the cells that send and receive signals from your brain.

Synapsin® uses ginsenoside Rg3 from Panax ginseng that tested in laboratory results to have improved memory impairment and protect neurons (Bao, 2005). Oddly enough, the word “Panax” means “all-healing” in Greek from the view that ginseng is influential in healing all types of diseases (Rokot, 2016). This medication does have the ability to cross the blood-brain barrier to allow utilization directly to the site when given intranasally. Ginsenosides have poor bioavailability when given orally, but better absorption and transmission are seen through a nasal solution.

Nicotinamide riboside is a precursor for NAD+ (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide), which follows a similar profile to ginsenosides with cognitive function and neuroprotection is also related to anti-aging and mitochondrial health. This is because as we age, NAD+ levels decline. NAD+ up-regulation has been suggested to reverse impaired brain-energy metabolism and oxidative stress found in patients with cognitive decline (Hou, 2018).

Under normal circumstances, microglial cells in the brain will mount an immune response to combat foreign invaders/illness. However, chronic stress and disease states mentioned before the chronic activation of microglia may cause neuronal damage through the release of potentially cytotoxic molecules such as pro-inflammatory cytokines and reactive oxygen intermediates because they essentially are never being told to “turn off” (Dheen, 2007). Mild or short term inflammation is healthy as a central nervous system defense mechanism, but chronic inflammation can cause problems such as neuronal death, neurodegenerative conditions, and neurobehavioral impairment (Hart, 2013). Therefore, stopping microglial-mediated inflammation has been considered an essential strategy in neurodegenerative disease therapy, which is precisely what the components of Synapsin® work to combat at the cellular level.

There still is more research to be done regarding this product and precisely how it works and affects these disease states. With that being said, the literature has shown promising results for mental clarity, brain function, and protection. Synapsin® has shown benefits toward both cognitive and neurological health for all individuals, but there may be a more effective response in patient populations described above. The aging population may also see more benefits due to the inverse relationship between mental health and age. Synapsin® may slow neurodegenerative diseases that are associated with advanced age. The last installment of this series discusses implementing into practice.

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Learn more about what Synapsin® is and read common questions here

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Bao, H. Y., Zhang, J., Yeo, S. J., Myung, C. S., Kim, H. M., Kim, J. M., . . . Kang, J. S. (2005). Memory enhancing and neuroprotective effects of selected ginsenosides. Archives of Pharmacal Research, 28(3), 335-342. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15832823

Belenky, P., Bogan, K. L., & Brenner, C. (2007). NAD+ metabolism in health and disease. Trends in Biochemical Sciences, 32(1), 12-19. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.tibs.2006.11.006

Bieganowski, P., & Brenner, C. (2004). Discoveries of nicotinamide riboside as a nutrient and conserved NRK genes establish a Preiss-Handler independent route to NAD+ in fungi and humans. Cell, 117(4), 495-502. Retrieved from http://www.cell.com/cell/pdf/S0092-8674(04)00416-7.pdf

Bogan KL, Brenner C. Nicotinic acid, nicotinamide, and nicotinamide riboside: a molecular evaluation of NAD+ precursor vitamins in human nutrition. Annu Rev Nutr. 2008;115Ͳ30.

Dheen, S.T., Kaur, C. & Ling, E. (2007) “Microglial Activation and its Implications in the Brain Diseases”, Current Medicinal Chemistry (2007) 14: 1189. https://doi.org/10.2174/092986707780597961

Joo, S. S., Yoo, Y. M., Ahn, B. W., Nam, S. Y., Kim, Y. B., Hwang, K. W., & Lee, D. I. (2008). Prevention of inflammation-mediated neurotoxicity by Rg3 and its role in microglial activation. Biological and Pharmaceutical Bulletin, 31(7), 1392-1396. http://doi.org/10.1248/bpb.31.1392

Kim, H. J., Kim, P., & Shin, C. Y. (2013). A comprehensive review of the therapeutic and pharmacological effects of ginseng and ginsenosides in central nervous system. Journal of ginseng research37(1), 8–29. doi:10.5142/jgr.2013.37.8

Mannaa, F., Abdel-Wahhab, M. A., Ahmed, H. H., & Park, M. H. (2006). Protective role of Panax ginseng extract standardized with ginsenoside Rg3 against acrylamide-induced neurotoxicity in rats. Journal of Applied Toxicology, 26(3), 198-206. https://doi.org/10.1002/jat.1128

Rokot, N. T., Kairupan, T. S., Cheng, K. C., Runtuwene, J., Kapantow, N. H., Amitani, M., … Inui, A. (2016). A Role of Ginseng and Its Constituents in the Treatment of Central Nervous System Disorders. Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine : eCAM2016, 2614742. doi:10.1155/2016/2614742

Suave AA. NAD+ and vitamin B3: from metabolism to therapies. J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 2008 Mar;324(3):883-93.

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Pharmacy Solutions - RX Compound

Pharmacy Solutions
1921 W Pioneer Pkwy,
Arlington, TX 76013

Pharmacy Solutions - RX Compound



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