Brain Stimulating Effect of Ampakine CX-516


CX-516 is the company code given to an ampakine compound developed by Cortex Pharmaceuticals and collaboration with Shire Plc and Servier. Ampakines, which are positive allosteric modulators of AMPA glutameric receptors, are one of the more potent nootropic compounds available. Ampakines, like the cx-516 shows promise in clinical tests done on laboratory rats. Most of the studies on ampakines focus on its potential as treatment for a number of neurological and mental conditions like Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, treatment resistant depression, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and schizophrenia.

Ampakines have been shown to have a strong positive influence in improving focus and attention, as well as enhancing memory processes and learning skills. While cx-516 was primarily studied for its potential as management for Alzheimer’s disease under the brand name Ampalex, it was also taken by other users to try out is cognitive enhancing abilities.

ampakinesJust like any other Ampakine, cx-516 works by stimulating and enhancing the glutameric receptor activity in the brain. Increased activity of the glutamic receptors in the brain are believed to be directly linked to the cognitive abilities of the brain. The brain stimulating effect of ampakines can be compared to the effect of amphetamines, minus the side effects like insomnia and irregular heartbeat. Ampakines also have a smooth stimulating effect, unlike amphetamines that makes one rather jittery and edgy.

Cortex Pharmaceuticals was founded in 1987 and is based in Irvine, CA. The cx-516 compound is the company’s first formal foray into nootropics. Its partners Shire Plc and Servier are also established drug developers, with Shire being the creators of Adderall XR, a well-known prescription drug for ADHD.

Clinical trials involving cx-516 proved very promising with laboratory mice. The rats that were administered cx-516 exhibited increased alertness, focus, motivation, and spatial awareness compared to the control group. The learning skills of the rats as well as the ability to memorize patterns were noticed to have likewise increased significantly. The improved performance of the laboratory animals was clinically measurable and repeatable.

The results of the initial trials of cx-516 were significant enough that it caught the attention of the online community of nootropic users, who soon after were able to get their hands on some samples of the compound. The initial reviews of cx-516 from its early users were guardedly positive. Some reported of experiencing its abilities to reduce fatigue, stimulate enhancements in the cognitive processes, improve concentration, and elevate one’s level of motivation.

All these initial positive results from cx-516 supplementation however, were short lived. It didn’t take too long before human studies came out showing that it was not as effective as what it was once hoped to be. The human clinical trials exposed the weakness of cx-516 in the areas of potency and its very short half-life. The results were so disappointing that Cortex Pharmaceuticals have abandoned further studies on cx-516 and instead focused on other ampakines that it has developed like cx-614 and cx-717.  While some suppliers still offer cx-516 online, it would seem as though there are only a few takers of it as it also fell out of favor in the nootropic community.


  1. It shows promise in clinical tests.
  2. It can be an alternative treatment for ADHD.
  3. It paved the way for the development of better and more potent ampakines.


  1. It does not work as well on humans like it did with lab mice.
  2. Its supply is very limited.
  3. It has a very short half life.
  4. Production of cx-516 may soon be abandoned altogether.
  5. There currently are far better ampakines which are readily available.

Instead of giving you the dosing recommendations for this substance, this review will instead encourage you to look for better ampakines, which have so far been proven to be safe and far more effective like sunifiram and IDRA-21.

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