There is a new nootropic stack known as CILTEP that has become very popular during the last year or so. The CILTEP acronym stands for “chemically induced long-term potentiation”. This stack works in two methods to increase biochemical function in the brain.
Main Method of Action – PDE Inhibition
CILTEPs main method is to inhibit phosphodiesterase (PDE). A supplement or drug in the stack is chosen to block PDE. PDE is an enzyme that breaks down cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP). Blocking PDEs, 2,4,5,9 & 10 have all been suggested to have positive effects on memory.
cAMP acts as a second messenger system that can greatly amplify the signals of hormones and neurotransmitters like Epinephrine and Acetylcholine. The degradation of cAMP by PDE can cause negative nootropic actions by reducing these secondary cell signals.
PDE4 inhibitors have beneficial effects in conditions such as: Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and depression. Other positive effects of PDE inhibition include: enhanced long-term memory, increased wakefulness and neuroprotective effects.
The nootropic racetam, Rolipram is a selective PDE4 inhibitor but it was abandoned as a medical treatment due to its long list of side effects. There are other drugs being studied and developed that are much stronger at inhibiting PDE levels. These are most commonly used in a CILTEP stack.
PDE4 Inhibitors (in no specific order)
- Artichoke Extract
- Kanna (herb)
Secondary Method of Action – cAMP levels
Increasing cAMP levels in the body is another goal of the CILTEP stack. A PDE4 inhibitor does increase cAMP levels by reducing degradation by PDE4. The CILTEP stack theory is to add even higher levels of cAMP while PDE4 is being dealt with by a PDE4 inhibitor.
Currently, increasing cAMP levels via supplements or drugs is very limited. There are several other supplements that act in similar ways to PDE inhibitors to indirectly influence cAMP levels. Several toxins can directly influence cAMP levels however this obviously isn’t a method that is safe or healthy to do.
One herbal supplement known as, forskolin has been shown to increase cAMP levels. This Indian plant activates the enzyme, adenylyl cyclase which increases intracellular levels of cAMP. Currently, this is the only supplement known to increase cAMP levels and it is of great interest to the medical field. Forskolin is currently used in a CILTEP stack as other options have not yet been made available.
Dopamine & cAMP
There has been some talk about adding a dopamine enhancer to the CILTEP stack. This is not needed for the synergistic effects of CILTEP to take place. Dopamine is tricky in a CILTEP stack because D2 dopamine receptor activation has been linked to decreased cAMP levels whereas activation of D1 receptors has been linked to an increase in cAMP. From this, one could conclude that selectively targeting D1 receptors could add great value to a CILTEP stack.
Currently there is no supplement to selectively target D1 dopamine receptors. Some research suggests that activation of the NDMA receptors may selectively influence D1 receptors. Some racetams and ampakines influence NDMA receptors and may add great value to the CILTEP stack.
Other benefits of CILTEP
A CILTEP stack is also of great interest to bodybuilders. Increasing cAMP levels can influence levels of anabolic hormones such as: Testosterone, GH and LH. Unlike steroids and other synthetic hormones, increasing levels of cAMP increases hormones naturally though the body. You do not have to be a bodybuilder to appreciate the effects of this because in these hormones can help with your health, energy levels, sex drive (for women too) and mood.
Is the CILTEP stack safe?
Naturally influencing cAMP levels can be seen as safe. Side effects will usually transform from the choice of PDE4 inhibitor. Choosing a more powerful PDE4 inhibitor can lead to serious side effects and drug interactions. Speaking with your doctor beforehand is the best option before starting a CILTEP stack.
At the current time, peak nootropics does not endorse or support the CILTEP stack. The stack is strictly theoretical and there has not been any direct scientific research on the effectiveness of CILTEP. This article was designed to supply the background theory of CILTEP only.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2704616/ – PDE inhibition & cognitive function
http://www.nature.com/tp/journal/v2/n3/full/tp201217a.html – PDE4 inhibition and memory
http://www.silvalab.com.cnchost.com/brainresbull.pdf – cAMP & cognitive function
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11818555 – NDMA Receptor Activation – NDMA receptor activation selective D1 dopamine receptor activation