We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What are Ampakines?

By S. Gadd
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Ampakines can generally be defined as molecules that alter brain chemistry. This alteration of brain chemistry reportedly results in an increased attention span, better memory and learning power, and the ability to stay awake and alert. Ampakines are also being investigated as potential treatments for neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, debilitating mental illnesses such as schizophrenia or severe depression, and Parkinson’s disease.

Glutamate is a crucial molecule in the brain that acts as a neurotransmitter, or as a molecule that transmits signals throughout neurons. This molecule interacts with the glutametergic AMPA receptor to control processes like forming memories, learning, and communicating with other areas of the brain. Many neurological disorders with a variety of different symptoms are associated with problematic glutamate signaling, such as schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s disease, indicating the importance of proper glutamate functioning.

Ampakines are named due to their ability to interact with the glutametergic AMPA receptor and enhance its function. In this way, they also enhance the activities of glutamate in the brain. There is great hope that the potential ability of ampakines to replace abnormal glutamate functioning will help people with neurological disturbances.

Several studies have been conducted on human subjects and showed that people who took an ampakine drug had better concentration and wakefulness under exhausting conditions than did subjects who took a placebo. This study also showed that although ampakines and stimulants such as caffeine and amphetamines appear to have a similar surface effect, the overall effects of these different drugs are much different. Ampakines can apparently produce mental wakefulness without the bad side effects usually associated with stimulants, such as trouble sleeping and shakiness.

The military has expressed interest in ampakines. These drugs might introduce a way for soldiers to remain alert and focused under adverse conditions. Military-ordered tests conducted on monkeys showed that well-rested monkeys could not perform as well on tests as monkeys that were extremely sleep-deprived but given an ampakine drug.

In addition to their potential role as a military drug or as a drug to relieve the symptoms of numerous neurological disorders, they might also help increase learning ability. For this reason, ampakine drugs are often jokingly referred to as “smart pills.” By enhancing memory formation and neuron communication, they could potentially enhance the depth and pace of learning. Finally, ampakines might serve as a completely new kind of aid for people with sleep disturbances; rather than serve as a drug to induce sleep, they would instead serve the purpose of erasing the adverse effects associated with lack of sleep.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.