The CILTEP stack stands for “Chemically Induced Long-Term Potentiation”. This stack has some basic research behind it and a solid principal however it has not been fully evaluated in medical research. That’s why at this point, it is just a theory. Unfortunately, for this reason, we cannot tell you exactly if it will work and only go over the theory to give a better understanding of CILTEP and how it works.
Long Term Potentiation
Long term potentiation (LTP) is a favorite theory explaining learning and memory. For decades, neuroscientists were unable to understand the exact mechanisms of learning and memory. They understood that memory and learning could not be a result of new neurons as new neurons obviously did not increase. This would start a new search for the mechanisms behind learning and memory.
Neuroscientists started to explore the idea of signal strength changes between neurons. This theory is known as synaptic plasticity. LTP is a primary form of synaptic plasticity and works as a dial between neurons to help amplify the signal. This potentiating signal comes in the form of electrical pulses and can help to continuously amplify the signal for hours to months. This is what is known today as the LTP form of synaptic plasticity.
Chemically Induced Long Term Potentiation
Long term potentiation might be modulated and changed through several methods. One way LTP is thought to be increased is through chemical means. This is where the CILTEP theory comes into play. Chemically increasing LTP is thought to be the main nootropic action behind this stack.
Cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) works as a secondary messenger and signal transductor. Increasing cAMP may influence the strength of hormones and certain neurotransmitter signals. This is the main idea behind CILTEP. Increasing cAMP is thought to chemically produce benefits of learning and memory through activating LTP.
We all have levels of cAMP within our body however like many processes it can be metabolized by certain enzymes. The enzyme that breaks down cAMP is known as phosphodiesterase (PDE). PDE is needed in the body to keep certain processes stable.
PDE inhibitors are drugs that inhibit the PDE enzyme to improve cAMP and cGMP levels. These drugs have a variety of different functions on the body depending on their targets and pathways. There are eleven types of PDE inhibitors in the body and PDE inhibiting drugs can have a variety of different functions. Recently certain types of PDE inhibiting drugs have been of interest to the medical community as possible targets for new mood and cognitive enhancing drugs.
Only certain PDE’s may be suitable for cAMP degradation and therefore possible learning and memory enhancements. PDE4 inhibition has been suggested to be one of the primary targets for new antidepressant, antipsychotic as well as learning and memory enhancement drugs.
It is possible to inhibit PDE4 and therefore increase levels of cAMP with a combination of supplements. This is where the common CILTP stack comes into play. Luteolin is a natural PDE4 inhibitor found in several types of foods like peanuts and artichoke. Since luteolin extract is hard to find, most people use artichoke extract as a primary PDE4 inhibitor in the CILTEP stack.
The second aspect of the CILTEP theory is to increase cAMP in conjunction with inhibiting PDE4. Only one such supplement has yet been discovered to directly increase cAMP. The indian plant coleus forskohli, is thought to increase LTP by increasing the levels of cAMP. At this time, forskohli is the only suitable target to increase cAMP in the CILTEP stack. This is why a very basic CILTEP stack is composed usually of forskohli and artichoke extract.
We cannot comment on if CITEP works however many people including several doctors have supported the theory. LTP may increase learning and memory so therefore chemically inducing this process may defiantly help to improve cognitive functioning. There is still a lot of mystery in the LTP field and neuroscience so this area is not at all fully understood.
With the data that is available, CILTEP is likely to help improve cognitive functioning. The scope of this improvement may be only of little significance until better and mode advanced PDE inhibitors become available. We suggest too stick to well-known and proven nootropics until more research has been applied to the stack.
http://www.jneurosci.org/content/20/12/4446.abstract – cAMP & LTP
http://jn.physiology.org/content/91/5/1955.full.pdf – Forskohli LTP