Dihexa, also known by its developmental code name PNB-0408, is a nootropic drug derived from angiotensin IV. Angiotensin IV is a peptide hormone that affects the central nervous system and assists in the regulation of insulin and memory acquisition and recall. As a derivative of this hormone, Dihexa has been found to potentially assist in the improvement of the cognitive functions that decline as a result of Alzheimer’s disease, or other similar dementias, by augmenting synaptic connectivity. It was found to be more effective than that of brain-derived neurotrophic factor, or BDNF, and has the ability to penetrate the blood-brain barrier.
Dihexa was developed by Joe Harding and Jay Wright, Professors of Neurology at Washington State University in the United States. Harding and Wright have spent 20 years researching angIV-related peptides for their procognitive effects in order to find out how they affect the hippocampus and how they can be used to restore the mental decline associated with dementia.
Animal trials note that the nootropic drug effectively improved the cognitive functions in the rats it was given to. More studies are needed to validate these results. Still, Harding and Wright are hopeful that with extensive testing and FDA approval, the nootropic drug will be beneficial in treating central nervous system trauma and other cognitive diseases.
Dihexa requires more testing and clinical trials to prove both its safety and the benefits that it can provide. As only animal testing has currently been done on the nootropic, the potential benefits of the drug are not guaranteed. The possible benefits of the nootropic drug include:
- An improvement in critical thinking- Restoration of the synapses between neurons in the nervous system
- Improved production of dopamine and noradrenaline
- Increased mental stamina
- Enhanced articulation
- Improved circulation
- Accelerated wound healing
- An increase in muscle growth
- Reduction of cognitive decline in patients with Alzheimer’s disease or other degenerative cognitive diseases
- Enhanced creative thinking
- Improvement of problem-solving abilities
- Improved cardiovascular health
- Increased motivation
Dihexa has only been lab and animal tested, so the inherent risk factors of the drug are not widely known. Personal accounts of individuals taking the drug give some insight into the possible risks, but the overall safety of long term use is still unclear. The use of the drug short term does pose the possibility of side effects. Potential side effects include a reduced attention span, irritability, mood swings, change of taste, increased anxiety, nausea, and insomnia.
Long term use of the drug poses an increased risk for certain cancers due to its mechanism of action. The drug should also not be taken with any other nootropic or psychoactive substances. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding are recommended to avoid the drug as there is not enough conclusive evidence of its safety.
Dihexa is not FDA approved and does not have a standard recommended dosage. It is recommended to consult with a healthcare provider before beginning a nootropic regimen to verify the safety of the dosage on the individual.
The drug manufacturers note a recommended dosage on their packaging of 10 mg to 20 mg a week. The half-life of the nootropic is much longer than many others, and the effects work in the body for up to 10 days after first consumption. The drug typically comes in a powdered or capsule form, and individuals both consume it by mouth or rub it onto their skin and allow it to soak into them that way.
Overall, Dihexa is a newly emerging nootropic drug that holds the potential of restoring the cognitive defects that occur from Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias. While more experimentation is needed to prove the benefits of the drug, current evidence from personal users notes the drug’s ability to improve their thinking and cognitive abilities with regular use.