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TUCoPS :: Wetware Hacking :: Others :: smrtdrug.txt

Complete text of the MegaBrain Report on Cognition Enhancing Drugs





     COGNITION-ENHANCEMENT DRUGS AND PEAK PERFORMANCE PILLS
       Potential Brain-Food and Mind-Machine Interactions

                               by
             Michael Hutchison and John Morganthaler

	Picture this: You have a business meeting tomorrow with your
Japanese distributor.  This meeting requires that you be in top
form for some critical negotiations.  You have several reports to
go over, many facts to memorize, and above all you have to get some
rest.
 	Your first step?  A trip to the drug store, of course.  A
meeting like this is much too important to take on without
fine-tuning your biochemistry.  You must create the optimal
neurochemical conditions for learning and creativity.  You ask the
druggist, who then points you towards the shelf of cognitive
enhancement compounds.  You load up your basket with bottles of
piracetam, vasopressin, hydergine, choline, DMAE, and maybe a
little centrophenoxine.
  	After arriving home, and taking the appropriate doses of each
of these you go into your study to slip on your cranial electric
stimulator along with your light and sound device.  You know from
your experience and that of many pioneers in the consciousness
revolution that this particular combination of chemicals and brain
machines have a synergistic effect that will create the optimal
psycho-biological state for the tasks that lie ahead.  You can be
sure that your Japanese counterparts are engaged in a similar
manner.
 	After an hour in your study you feel very different.  You are
relaxed, yet alert and creative. Your brainwave activity has
altered, and an EEG would  show that it has become more regular and
has increased in amplitude in certain frequencies, causing you to
feel simultaneously profoundly relaxed yet in a state of intense
concentration, loose and creative as well as mentally quick and
alert. A brain-mapping device would show that the two hemispheres
of your brain were in a state of "superconnection," with an
enormous increase in the amount of information flowing between
hemispheres. At the same time, the rate of metabolism and the
energy level of your brain cells has sharply increased.  You are
now in the optimal state to imprint new memories, to plan new and
more creative strategies, to visually rehearse every detail of your
upcoming meeting.
	Sound far-fetched?  Well, both the brain machines and the
cognitive enhancement compounds already exist. Megabrain described
a variety of devices that show evidence of enhancing cognition (for
a summary of several recent studies suggesting that CES devices can
have clear cognition-boosting effects see the "Research Update"
elsewhere in this issue); and the book also mentioned the
cognition-enhancing effects of such neurochemicals as vasopressin
and MSH-ACTH 4-10. Since then other mind-magnifying drugs have
emerged as well as even more astonishing evidence of their ability
to amplify learning, memory and thinking.  What we don't know is
how to best use them together, or even whether they should be used
together.
	That's what we want to find out. The problem, as many of you
are aware, is that it is extremely difficult for those interested
in performing research into the effects of brain machines to obtain
the necessary funding and support. Mainstream science, particularly
those elements in control of doling out grants and funds to support
research, and many of the universities and institutions engaged in
research, seem to have little interest in investigating these
machines. What research is done usually involves the therapeutic
applications of the devices rather than the induction of peak
performance brain states.
	On the other hand, huge amounts of money are being spent for
research into cognition enhancing drugs. But much of the research
is being done by the big pharmaceutical companies, who are racing
with each other to develop patentable memory-enhancement drugs and
to obtain FDA approval for these compounds.  Since the FDA is
primarily oriented toward treating diseases in a medical context,
and has not shown much interest in giving its approval to drugs
that simply improve people's memories or boost intelligence, the
pharmaceutical companies are directing their efforts toward gaining
approval for their cognition-enhancement drugs as treatments for
medical problems such as Alzheimer's disease, multiple-infarct
dementia and senility. Since financial analysts estimate that such
cognitive drugs could quickly produce sales of well over a billion
dollars a year in the U.S. alone, and ultimately outsell
antibiotics and tranquilizers, the competition is fierce, and these
companies are in no mood to investigate ways their substances might
work synergistically or in combination with other substances or
other mechanisms such as mind machines.
	Also, since their efforts are directed toward drugs that are
patentable, these companies have little interest in exploring the
cognition enhancement properties of substances that cannot be
patented. Vitamin C is a good example: in a controlled study in
which healthy individuals were tested both for levels of vitamin
C and IQ, those with higher levels of the vitamin averaged 5 points
higher in IQ; when those with the lower levels of the vitamin were
given vitamin C supplements, their IQ scores increased by over 3.5
points. In some way, Vitamin C is a cognition-enhancing substance.
But, of course no one can patent vitamin C, which is cheap and
readily available.
	In another example, one widely available and unpatentable
substance (DHEA) is rumored to have demonstrated in a recent study
some success in, among other things, treating AIDS, as well as
cognition enhancement; however, the drug company involved in the
experiments is now apparently trying to conceal the discoveries
about DHEA until it can develop some variant that is patentable
(i.e. has commercial value), and has obtained a court order
forbidding the scientist in charge of the study to even speak with
anyone about the matter.

WE HAVE MET THE GUINEA PIG AND IT IS US
	And so. Megabrain Report has concluded that if we really want
more research into mind-machine mind-food interactions we'd better
start doing it ourselves. Thus we ask you to join us in a series
of surveys, tests and assessments designed to explore the
interactions between brain machines and cognitive enhancement
compounds.  This is not to say we are advising you to take any of
the cognition-enhancement substances we describe. No! We do not
advise you to take these compounds, just as we do not advise you
to use mind machines or do anything to enhance your mental
functioning. High level mental functioning can be exceedingly
dangerous and have frightening and unpredictable side effects, as
individuals from Socrates to Jesus to Galileo have discovered.
	However, we do have reason to believe that many of you are by
nature curious, given to exploration and even experimentation--
that, in fact, many of you are already making use of some of
cognition-boosting nutrients.  This being so, it seems clear to us
that you have information that would be of interest and value to
the rest of us.  It's also clear that if there are hundreds or even
thousands of you with such information, then by gathering it
together, we can synthesize it, analyze it, begin to search for
trends, tendencies, proclivities, and perhaps even make some
important connections.
 	The first part of the survey is intended to be an open-ended
exploration rather than a rigorous scientific study or an attempt
to confirm an existing hypotheses.  We hope not for solid
conclusions or hard data, but rather to discover and delineate some
interesting avenues for future research.
 	In a later issue, we will report on the early survey results.
It's possible--though we cannot guarantee it--that in investigating
then subjective responses we hope to receive from Megabrain Report
readers we will discover some trends. We can use this information
to guide us in designing a more focused study for part two of the
survey.
	For example, we might receive many reports that the effects
of piracetam are amplified when used with the light and sound
devices.  Then we could plan to focus more deeply on this
particular machine/compound interaction, investigating the
interactive effects over differing periods of time, using different
sound and light frequencies and modes, and in various areas, such
as memory, reaction speed, creativity and so on.
	In this issue, we will introduce some of the more interesting
compounds for cognitive enhancement, provide information about how
to obtain each of them, present some methods for assessing and
evaluating your own brain state and tracing your progress, and
present a simple questionnaire. These self-assessment methods and
our intial survey appear at the end of this article. First we will
describe a few of the most promising cognition enhancing
substances.

NOOTROPIC DRUGS

PIRACETAM
 	"Last year a friend took me to hear Sun Ra and his
Intergalactic Arkestra as a birthday present.  I had just received
a bottle of 800 mg tablets of Piracetam.  My friend and I each took
nine of the tablets (an "attack dose" they call it in the
literature) before entering the hall.  The music began 30 minutes
later.  I found myself able to concentrate as never before.  I was
completely lucid with absolutely no sense of intoxication. For the
first time in my life I could hear each individual horn's timbre
(Sun Ra has about 10 horn players, often all playing massed
harmonies.)  My friend has worked as a professional saxophone
player. He, too, reported extraordinary hearing and concentration
abilities. My ears felt as though they were being stimulated from
all directions at once, but the feeling was entirely pleasant. I
was enthralled."

	Piracetam has been the subject of intensive research for over
15 years, and has not only proven to be a powerful intelligence
booster and cerebral stimulant, but also, even in massive acute and
chronic dosages, appears to be nontoxic and to produce no side
effects (it's so nontoxic one FDA employee reportedly claimed that
since even huge doses produce no toxic effects, it can't possibly
have any pharmacological effects and must be physiologically
inert). It is so remarkable in its effects and safety that its
discovery by UCB Laboratories in Belgium sent virtually every other
major pharmaceutical company scrambling to develop its own cerebral
stimulant. This "smart pill race" has resulted in the creation of
a new drug category called the nootropics, from the Greek words
noos (mind) and tropein (turn), meaning "acting on the mind".
	Some of the nootropic drugs being tested now on humans include
vinpocetine (being developed by Ayerst Laboratories), which speeds
up learning, improves memory and recall and seems to block the
action of substances that disrupt memory; aniracetam (Hoffman-La
Roche), which appears to be about ten times more potent in
improving and protecting memory than piracetam, pramiracetam
(Warner-Lambert/Parke Davis), which seems to improve learning and
memory by enhancing the firing of neurons in the hippocampus (a key
to the formation of long-term memories), and oxiracetam (Ciba-
Geigy), apparently two to three times as powerful as piracetam
(intriguingly, research shows that when oxiracetam is given to
pregnant rats their offspring proved more intelligent than control
groups--similar findings have been reported for the offspring of
pregnant rats kept in "enriched environments," as described in the
"Research Update" elsewhere in this issue). All of these substances
seem remarkably nontoxic and free of side effects.
	As yet, there is no nootropic drug that is approved by the FDA
for sale in the US, but, keenly aware of the multi-billion dollar
potential of nootropics, the drug companies are pouring big bucks
into research that will satisfy FDA requirements by proving how
they work (still not well understood), and by proving their
effectiveness in treating medical problems such as Alzheimer's
disease and senility. In this article we will focus on the most
extensively tested and widely available nootropic compound,
piracetam.

	Piracetam has been proven to boost learning and memory in
normal subjects as well as those who suffer cognitive deficits, and
is also a cognitive enhancer under conditions of hypoxia, or too
little oxygen (recent expeditions to climb Mt. Everest have
included piracetam as an "essential" medication to treat frostbite
and memory lapses caused by altitude). A variety of clinical
studies with human subjects, including studies of young healthy
volunteers, healthy middle-aged subjects with some memory decline,
elderly subjects, elderly subjects with senility, and alcoholics,
have proven that piracetam enhances cortical vigilance, improves
integration of information processing, improves attention span and
concentration, and can produce dramatic improvements in both direct
and delayed recall of verbal learning.
	It's effective in the treatment of dyslexia, stroke,
alcoholism, vertigo, senile dementia, sickle-cell anemia, and many
other conditions, enhances the brain's resistance to various
injuries and boosts its ability to recover from injuries, protects
the brain against chemicals such as barbiturates and cyanides, and
is widely used throughout Europe and Latin America (where it is
sold over the counter).
	The subjective effect described by a lot of people is that it
"wakes up your brain". In fact, it selectively stimulates the
anterior or frontal part of the forebrain--that part of the brain
that has evolved most recently, rapidly and remarkably in the
course of our evolution from ape to human, and which is the seat
of our "higher functions."
 	Piracetam works in a number of ways to increase energy within
the brain. First, it steps up the production of adenosine
triphosphate (ATP), the energy storage and energy generating
molecules within our cells.  It also boosts cerebral metabolism by
improving cerebral microcirculation (blood flow), increasing the
brain's use of glucose, and increasing the brain's oxygen
utilization. It also seems to enhance protein synthesis in the
brain (it's been proven that protein synthesis is an essential step
in laying down long-term memories).
	SUPERCONNECTING THE BRAIN. Perhaps the most intriguing aspect
of piracetam is that it has been proven to increase the flow of
information between the right and left hemispheres of the brain.
As a result of experiments with human subjects one researcher
concluded that piracetam causes the hemispheres to become
"superconnected." Since there's increasing evidence that high level
brain states--brilliance, insight, creativity, flow, peak
performance, being "in the zone"--are a product of the integrated
and synergistic functioning of both hemispheres simultaneously, we
might suspect that piracetam enhances not only simple learning and
memory but creative or synthesis thinking.
	Piracetam's capacity to superconnect the hemispheres becomes
even more intriguing in light of the evidence indicating that many
of the most widely used mind machines and techniques for brain
enhancement (such as binaural beat frequencies and the sound and
light machines) function in part by facilitating integrated
hemispheric functioning.  This raises the possibility that since
both the machines and piracetam seem to facilitate interhemispheric
communication, there might be a potentiating or synergistic effect
when such mind machines are used in combination with piracetam,
resulting in a quantum leap in brain-enhancement effects.
	PRECAUTIONS:  Piracetam may increase the effects of certain
drugs, such as amphetamines and psychotropics.  Adverse effects are
rare but include insomnia, psychomotor agitation, nausea, headaches
and gastrointestinal distress.
	DOSAGE: Piracetam is supplied in 400mg or 800mg tablets.  The
usual dose is 2400-4800 mg per day in three divided doses.  Some
literature recommends that the first two days a high "attack" dose
should be taken.  We have noticed that when some people first take
piracetam they do not notice any effect until they take a high
dose.  Thereafter, they may notice that a lower dosage is
sufficient.  The drug takes effect in 30 to 60 minutes.
	SOURCES: Piracetam is not sold in the US.  It can be purchased
over the counter in Mexico or by mail order from the address below.

OTHER COGNITION ENHANCING SUBSTANCES
	Nootropics are exciting and fascinating, partly because of
their lack of toxicity, but they are not the only substances that
increase intelligence.  There are over 30 chemicals that have been
demonstrated to improve animal and/or human intelligence (including
xanthinol nicotinate, idebenone, ginkgo biloba, acetyl-l-carnitine,
DMAE, pyroglutamate, RNA [ribonucleic acid], isoprinosine,
phenylalanine, amphetamines, pemoline, ritalin, vitamin B-12, ACTH
4-10, L-prolyl L-leucyl glycine amide, caffeine, niacin, vitamin
C, ginseng, GH3 [Gerovital], PRL-8-53, R-58-735, ISF-2522, and
THA). We will describe several we find most interesting.

CENTROPHENOXINE (LUCIDRIL)
	Centrophenoxine, more commonly known by its trade name
Lucidril, is an intelligence booster and also an effective
anti-aging therapy. It has been shown to produce a 30% increase in
the life span of laboratory animals.
	Perhaps the most obvious sign of aging is the appearance of
brown "age spots" or "liver spots" on the skin. This pigmented
material is known as lipofuscin, from the Greek lipo (fat) and the
Latin fuscin (dusky), and it is the result of the progressive
buildup of toxic waste by-products of cellular metabolism, or
"cellular garbage." It accumulates with age not only on the skin
but also in the muscle and nerve cells. The buildup of lipofuscin
in brain cells is accompanied by a decline in mental functioning,
and can ultimately lead to the death of the affected neurons.
Centrophenoxine removes lipofuscin deposits from brain cells (as
well as from skin). That is, it actually seems to reverse the aging
process and have a rejuvenating effect on brain cells. It also
reduces the rate of lipofuscin accumulation in young brain cells
and rejuvenates the synaptic structure--the area where the actual
transfer of information takes place between nerve cells.  This
suggests that the clinical rejuvenation effects of centrophenoxine
in humans may be produced by the actual regeneration of parts of
the neuron.
	It is used widely throughout Europe for its anti-aging
properties, but studies of both animal and human subjects show that
it produces improvements in alertness, learning and memory as well.
	PRECAUTIONS:  Centrophenoxine should not be used by persons
who are easily excitable, people with severe arterial hypertension,
or those subject to convulsions or involuntary musculoskeletal
movements.  The drug also should not be used by nursing mothers.
Adverse effects are rare but include hyperexcitability, insomnia,
tremors, motion sickness, paradoxical drowsiness and depression.
In therapeutic doses it has proven to be nontoxic.
	The dosage in clinical trials ranges from about 3000 to 8000
mg. per day based on body weight, but many self-experimenters take
1000 to 3000 mg per day.  Centrophenoxine takes effect very
quickly, producing an increase in alertness and a slight
stimulating quality.
	SOURCES:  Centrophenoxine is not sold in the US.  It can be
purchased over the counter in Mexico or by mail order from the
address below.

CHOLINE/LECITHIN
"When I take a choline compound, I am more awake when I am awake,
more sound asleep when I am asleep.  Not only does my memory
improve, but I have an easier time day dreaming when I want to, and
concentrating on real world tasks when I want to."
	As these words suggest, choline seems to optimize mental
functioning in a global way. An explanation is that choline is the
nutrient that is used by the brain to manufacture acetylcholine,
which is a principal component of brain cells and the major
neurochemical messenger responsible for the processing, storage,
and retrieval of information. Acetylcholine must be in abundant
supply throughout the brain, and when acetylcholine levels drop (as
happens as a result of poor nutrition, alcoholism and aging) the
result is memory loss and a decline in thinking ability. Since
choline passes through the blood-brain barrier into the brain and
is transformed into acetylcholine, consuming choline directly
increases levels of acetylcholine in the brain, and has been proven
to prevent memory loss associated with aging and improve memory in
young, healthy adults.
	There is also evidence that choline can improve mental
functioning by actually strengthening neurons in the brain's memory
centers and slowing down the age-related loss of dendrites of those
neurons.
	Choline can be found in several forms including choline
bitartrate, choline chloride, or phosphatidyl choline. Phosphatidyl
choline (PC) is the active ingredient of lecithin.  All of these
forms of choline will produce memory boosting effects.
	DOSAGE:  The studies that used dietary choline to improve
memeory in young, healthy adults used at least 3 grams of choline
per day in three or four divided doses (doses every 4 to 6 hours
insure that blood levels of choline will remain in the effective
range). Those taking lecithin may need to take more than three
grams because only part of the lecithin is choline.  Often the
label will provide information on the quantity of choline per
tablespoon.  All forms of choline should be taken with one gram per
day of pantothenic acid (vitamin B-5), which is essential for the
conversion of choline into acetylcholine.
	SOURCES:  Choline and lecithin are considered nutritional
supplements and can be found at health food or drug stores.
Commercial lecithin usually contains other oils and phosphatides
besides phosphatidyl choline.  Look at the label before you buy and
make sure the product contains more than 30% phosphatidyl choline.
Also, you should taste your lecithin and make sure it does not
taste bitter (this indicates rancidity).
	PRECAUTIONS:  Any compound that acts as a precursor to
acetylcholine such as choline, PC, or DMAE should not be used by
manic depressives, since it can deepen the depressive phase.
Choline bitartrate and choline chloride can sometimes cause a fishy
odor or diarrhea.  Lecithin and PC, however, are metabolized
differently and do not produce these effects.

CHOLINE AND PIRACETAM
	Researchers have discovered that the combination of choline
and piracetam has a synergistic effect that produces a greater
improvement in memory and learning than the sum of each when taken
alone. In one study of learning, animals receiving both substances
scored four times higher than the control groups and those taking
choline alone, and three times higher than those taking piracetam
alone. Clinical studies of humans given piracetam and choline alone
and in combination have shown similar extraordinary synergistic
effects. One of the researchers, Dr. Raymond Bartus of Lederle
Laboratories, suggests that in many cases (such as aging) brain
metabolism is too low for optimal conversion of choline to
acetylcholine; adding piracetam, which is known to boost brain
metabolism, could thus produce dramatic increases in acetycholine
levels in the brain.
	Individuals taking piracetam may want to supplement it with
choline in any case as a safeguard, since there is some evidence
that piracetam causes acetlycholine to be used up more quickly, and
could deplete levels of choline inside the brain cells. We know of
one person who claims she feels slightly agitated and depressed if
she takes piracetam for more than a week without a choline
supplement.  This feeling is alleviated for her with a single dose
of choline.

DHEA
"I started  taking DHEA in order to build up my muscle mass and to
decrease my weight. I found that within two months I was able to
lift 70 pound weights during weight training--twice the amount I'd
been able to lift previously. I lost the extra ten pounds I'd been
working to take off for the past year. I like the increased feeling
of strength and energy when weight lifting. As a woman, I had found
it was difficult to do much more than just light muscle toning, so
I was pleased by such obvious results."
	Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), a steroid hormone produced in
the adrenal gland and related to the male hormone testosterone, is
the most abundant steroid in the human bloodstream. It seems to
trigger the release of growth hormone and is a powerful booster of
immune function.  Research has found it to have significant
anti-obesity, anti-tumor, anti-aging, and anti-cancer (particularly
anti-breast cancer) effects. DHEA production naturally drops by as
much as 95 percent as people age (the average drop is from about
30 mg per day at age 20 to less than 6 mg per day at age 80).
	According to Dr. William Regelson of the Medical College of
Virginia, DHEA is "one of the best bio-chemical biomarkers for
chronologic age," and there's good reason to think that taking a
DHEA supplement may extend your life and make you more youthful
while you're alive. In animal studies, it's extended lifespans up
to 50 percent. In a 12 year study of hundreds of aging humans,
researchers found that DHEA levels were inversely correlated with
mortality: The lower the levels, the higher the probability of
death, from any cause.
	Additionally, DHEA may be an important player in cognitive
enhancement. It plays a key role in protecting brain cells from
age-related degenerative conditions like Alzheimer's disease.  Not
only does neuronal degeneration occur most frequently when DHEA
levels are lowest, but brain tissue contains more DHEA than is
found in the bloodstream.  In a recent experiment with brain cell
tissue cultures, Dr. Eugene Roberts has discovered that even very
low concentrations of DHEA will "increase the number of neurons,
their ability to establish contacts, and their differentiation."
He concludes that DHEA plays "a significant role in normal function
of neuronal cells" and that supplementation with it "may prevent
neuronal loss and/or damage." DHEA also enhanced long-term memory
in mice, and raised the learning and memory of middle-aged and old
mice to the high levels found in young mice.  Perhaps it plays a
similar role in human brain function.
	DOSAGE: Dosage of DHEA ranges from 50 mg to 2000 mg per day.
There is no solid information indicating optimal dosage for humans
but, those serious about self-experimentation can have their DHEA
levels tested every few months (for about $65), each time raising
the dosage of DHEA until reaching an optimal level--what is normal
for a 20 year old human. Some women have reported a slight increase
in the hair on their faces or bodies with the use of DHEA. Little
is known about this effect, so caution should be execised by women
considering using DHEA. Since it's a steroid with testesterone-like
effects, it probably has the same risks as testesterone.
	SOURCES:  DHEA is now being used by many people with AIDS
because of its immune enhancement and antiviral effects.  AIDS
buyers groups sell DHEA to their members. Among the buyers groups
selling DHEA are: Alliance 7, 619-281-5360, in San Diego, and
Healing Alternatives Foundation, 415-626-2316, in San Francisco.

DILANTIN
	This extraordinary prescription drug, also known by its
generic names, phenytoin and diphenylhydantoin (DPH), was
discovered in 1938 and has long been used for the treatment of
epilepsy. But it's clear that it is much more than just a simple
anticonvulsant.  There are literally thousands of scientific
studies documenting its effectiveness in treating a multitude of
medical problems, including, Parkinson's disease, angina, headache,
high blood pressure, hypoglycemia, asthma, diabetes, ulcers,
alcohol and drug withdrawal, pain, cardiac arrhythmias and much
more.
	More interestingly for our purposes, Dilantin has proven to
be extremely effective in treating nervous disorders involving
emotions and behavior: depression, moodiness, compulsive eating,
violent behavior, chronic anger, irritability, fear, impulsiveness,
hostility, insomnia, impatience, agitation, worry, anxiety,
pessimism.
	And, even more interesting, the drug has proven to have
remarkable cognition-enhancing effects. It can dramatically improve
concentration abilities, boost long-term memory and comprehension,
and produce sharp increases in IQ scores.
	What's more, DPH increases the regeneration of tissue and
speeds up the healing of wounds by promoting the growth of collagen
(the most abundant protein in the body, which acts as connective
tissue to hold our bodies together), and has even shown evidence
of extending life-span (in one study of laboratory mice DPH
prolonged their mean life-span by 25 percent).
 	The secret of DPH's wide range of beneficial effects seems to
be that it functions by stabilizing and optimizing electrical
activity throughout the body and brain. Among the ways it does this
is to regulate the activity of the sodium, potassium and calcium
ions, which produce bioelectric activity; to regulate the
neurotransmitters that mediate bioelectric activity; and to
influence the hormones (such as vasopressin, insulin and cortisol)
that function in response to bioelectrical impulses. Epileptic
seizures are a product of electrical disruptions--a sudden
"kindling" or firing of masses of neurons which spreads through the
brain--which DPH counteracts by normalizing the brain's electrical
activity. But what this implies is that all the other disorders
mentioned above, including such things as mood and behavioral
problems such as compulsive eating, moodiness, anxiety and so on-
-are somehow linked to bioelectrical activity.
	The idea that virtually all our capacities and functions from
healing to cognition are dependent on the activity of a
bioelectrical control system--a still little-understood
semiconducting DC analog communication system that links and
regulates every cell in the human body, functioning independently
of the more obvious and well-understood digital, nerve-impulse
operated "central" nervous system--is one that is being advanced
by increasing numbers of scientists, in large part as a result of
the groundbreaking research and thinking of Robert O. Becker
(interviewed elsewhere in this issue). The extraordinary range of
beneficial effects of DPH are perhaps a product of its capacity to
normalize or optimize the functioning of this whole body
bioelectrical system--the "body electric."
	PRECAUTIONS: Epileptics have been taking DPH for nearly 50
years with few problems. Side effects, which are fairly infrequent,
can include nausea, headache, dizziness, insomnia, tremor, and a
reduction in the body's absorption of Vitamin D and folic acid.
	DOSAGE: Epileptics generally take between 200 and 600 mg per
day, but those using DPH for cognition-enhancement or life-
extension purposes use from 100 to 300 mg a day, taken in two or
three divided doses.
	SOURCES: DPH is available in the USA with a doctor's
prescription, and approved by the FDA as an anticonvulsant--your
doctor may not be familiar with the uses we discuss.  It can also
be purchased by mail order from overseas. (see below)

HYDERGINE
"I first tried Hydergine six years ago during a visit to see my Dad
at Christmas. He and I started taking 9 mg per day.  The results
were apparent to us both within two days.  He was in his 40's, and
began to remember events from when he was in his 20's as clearly
as if they'd happened yesterday. What was interesting was that the
events were nothing outstanding--just ordinary times. In other
words, the everyday events had been stored away all these years,
it just took some chemical prodding to jog them loose into the
conscious mind.  I was in my early 20's and had similar memories
going back to my childhood years.  A unique opportunity had been
presented to us to sit down and really share in the joys that our
life had brought us.  What a gift!"
 	A wealth of research going back over 20 years suggests that
Hydergine may be what psychologist-pharmacist Ross Pelton calls
"the ultimate smart pill." The substance, whose generic name is
ergoloid mesylates, is made from a natural, organic source: the
ergot fungus of rye plants (it was discovered at Sandoz
laboratories by the visionary chemist Dr. Albert Hofmann, also
known for his discovery of another ergot derivative, LSD 25). It
increases mental abilities, prevents damage to brain cells, and may
even be able to reverse existing damage to brain cells.
	Hydergine acts in several ways to enhance mental capabilities
and to slow down or reverse the aging processes in the brain. A few
of the huge number of beneficial effects scientists have attributed
to Hydergine include: increased protein synthesis in the brain;
reduced accumulation of lipofuscin in the brain; increased
quantities of blood and oxygen delivered to the brain; improvement
of memory, learning and intelligence; beneficial improvements in
brainwave activity; increased metabolism in brain cells;
normalization of blood pressure; and increased production of such
neurotransmitters as dopamine and norepinephrine (neurochemical
messengers essential to the formation of memory, and also
associated with arousal, alertness, elation and pleasure).
Hydergine also functions as a powerful antioxidant and thus
protects the brain against the damage caused by those infamous
rascally free radicals (unstable and extremely reactive molecules
produced by normal metabolism, which cause damage associated with
aging, cancer and cardiovascular disease).
 	One way that Hydergine may enhance brain functioning is by
mimicking the effect of a substance called nerve growth factor
(NGF).  NGF is an essential component of protein synthesis in the
brain, which we have noted is a key to the formation of long term
memory. NGF promotes the growth of dendrites--the long branching
fibers by which neurons receive information from other neurons.
Scientists studying the effects of learning on the brain have found
it is directly related to dendritic growth. Hydergine seems to work
by the same neurochemical pathway as NGF to produce neural growth.
	While Hydergine is widely used for the treatment of senility,
scientists have also studied its effects, both short term and long
term, in normal healthy humans; these studies noted significant
improvements in a variety of cognitive functions, including
alertness, memory, reaction time, abstract reasoning and cognitive
processing ability.
	PRECAUTIONS:  If too large a dose is used when first taking
Hydergine, it may cause slight nausea, gastric disturbance, or
headache.  Overall, Hydergine does not produce any serious side
effects, it is non-toxic even at very large doses and it is
contraindicated only for individuals who have chronic or acute
psychosis.
	DOSAGE:  The US recommended dosage is 3 mg per day, however,
the European recommended dosage is 9 mg per day taken in three
divided doses.  Most of the research has been done at levels of 9
to 12 mg per day or higher, and there is some evidence that 3 mg
per day is simply insufficient for significant cognition-
enhancement effects.  It may take several weeks or even months
before Hydergine produces noticeable effects. Hydergine (though not
its generic counterpart) is available in a sublingual form, and
there's evidence that sublingual doses reach the brain in greater
quantity.
	SOURCES: Hydergine is available in the USA with a doctor's
prescription, and approved by the FDA for the treatment of senile
dementia and insufficient blood circulation to the brain--your
doctor may not be familiar with the uses discussed.  It can also
be purchased over the counter in Mexico or by mail order from
overseas. (see below) In many cases these mail order companies sell
the generic form, Ergoloid Mesylates. The FDA has rated the generic
as biologically equivalent to the Sandoz product.  More testing
needs to be done on this question.

SULBUTIAMINE
 	Sulbutiamine, also known as Arcalion, is a new compound that
has been described as being like Hydergine, only better.  It has
been shown to facilitate wakefulness, improve long-term memory,
decrease reaction time, reduce fatigue, decrease anxiety, and
increase overall resistance to stress.
	DOSAGE: Those who use this substance to combat fatigue
generally take two 200 mg tablets per day, with breakfast or an
A.M. meal, for a period of 20 days. They warn users not to exceed
three tablets per day, as this very powerful substance may cause
severe headaches.
	SOURCES:  Sulbutiamine is not sold in the US.  It can be
purchased by mail order from the address below.

VASOPRESSIN
"The most immediate result I get from using vasopressin is
increased clarity and alertness.  I can be logical without the
usual speediness associated with caffeine use.  After five minutes
I've noticed that I'm busily accomplishing tasks that I'd  been
putting off for a week.  The duration is about two hours for the
energetic feelings.  Overall, I feel my short-term memory recall
improving over the past two weeks of using vasopressin.  It seems
that the longer I use it, the more I can rely on my mind to be a
portable note pad."

"I have smoked pot on a more or less (usually more) daily basis
for 20 years. When I read that vasopressin is inhibited by pot, I
found a source for buying some. Now I notice I that when I use
vasopressin with marijuana I still get stoned, but I have little
or none of the 'dummying down' effect of the pot. And what a
surprise to find that vasopressin intensifies orgasms!"
	
	Vasopressin, called "the memory hormone," is a natural brain
peptide, stimulated by acetylcholine and released in the pituitary.
It actually helps create, imprint, and store memories, and is
essential to remembering. Apparently vasopressin is involved in
picking out and chunking together related bits of information from
the stream of consciousness, integrating these chunks into coherent
structures, and then "imprinting" these images or concepts into
long-term memory by transforming electrical impulses into complex
proteins that contain memories and are stored away in the brain.
The act of remembering the stored information is also mediated by
vasopressin.
	Over 20 years ago scientists discovered that vasopressin had
extraordinary effects on the memory of laboratory animals--
preventing chemically and electrically induced amnesia, actually
reversing amnesia, and dramatically boosting the memory and
intelligence of normal animals. These findings spurred much
research into the cognition-enhancement effect of vasopressin on
humans. Among the key findings are that small doses of the hormone
can have striking success in quickly reversing traumatic amnesia
(amnesia caused by injuries such as car crashes), can reverse age-
related memory loss and actually restore lost memories, and can
produce sharp improvements in learning and memory using measures
such as abstract and verbal memory, organizational capacities,
recall, attention, concentration, focus, short-term memory, optical
memory, and long-term memory.  It also boosts performance in such
areas as reaction speed, visual discrimination, and coordination.
	Vasopressin pours out during moments of trauma or extreme
arousal, which may explain why those times seem to be so deeply
imprinted in our brains, and are remembered with such clarity.
Vasopressin is also released by cocaine, LSD, amphetamines,
Ritalin, and Pemoline (Cylert). Those who make frequent use of
these drugs deplete their brain's vasopressin supply. The result
is depression, and a decline in cognitive function. The frequent
user's response to this depression is to take more of the drug,
thus trying to wring more vasopressin out of their depleted brain:
ultimately the well runs dry.  Vasopressin, however, is not a drug
but the actual brain hormone that has been depleted, so it can
produce dramatic and virtually instantaneous improvements in mood
and mental functioning.
 	Unlike stimulants, alcohol and marijuana do not deplete but
actually suppress the release of vasopressin, which could account
for the loss of memory many have noticed when drunk or stoned, or
when trying to remember events that occurred while they were high.
Vasopressin can reduce the harmful effects of these drugs and
enhance alertness, reaction speed and concentration.
 	Anecdotal evidence suggests that vasopressin can produce a
state of euphoria accompanied by self-confidence, energy,
assertiveness, and a sensation of extreme mental clarity. Many
believe it is ideal for situations in which lots of new information
needs to be processed and remembered--such as studying for an exam,
learning a language, ploughing through difficult or complex works.
Some use it for more mundane purposes, such as when they have to
drive late at night and want to remain alert.
	PRECAUTIONS: Vasopressin can occasionally produce the
following side effects; runny nose, nasal congestion, irritation
of the nasal passages, headache, abdominal cramps, and increased
bowel movements. Angina pectoris sufferers should not use
vasopressin, since it can trigger angina pains.  Vasopressin has
not been proven to be safe for use during pregnancy.
	DOSAGE: Vasopressin usually comes in a nasal spray bottle.
Most studies showing memory improvement have been done with a dose
of 12 to 16 USP per day, which is one whiff in each nostril three
to four times per day.  Vasopressin produces a noticeable effect
within seconds.
	SOURCES: Vasopressin (known as Diapid and produced by Sandoz)
is available in the USA with a doctor's prescription, but keep in
mind that your doctor may not be familiar with the uses we have
discussed (it is approved by the FDA for treatment of diabetes
insipidus).  It can also be purchased over the counter in Mexico
or by mail order from overseas (see below).

POTENTIAL MIND-MACHINE BRAIN-FOOD INTERACTIONS
I0 took four 800 mg tablets of piracetam at a recent holistic
health expo. After an hour, I sat down at a booth and donned the
MC2 glasses and headset and put on a tape of space sounds.  Within
minutes, I was in theta state and out there in outer space,
oblivious to the crowd. I found myself on an incredible cosmic
amusement ride, flying in vast circles around the solar system. I
imagined the sounds and dolphins and alien super-intelligences.
I had to hold back to keep from screaming with delight.  Ideas for
inventions and solutions to problems poured into my brain
effortlessly.  After 20 minutes the program ended and I leaped up,
refreshed.  I'd been exhausted but now I had boundless energy.  A
previously boring expo became a magical discovery experience."
	Writer/networker Wes Thomas has provided us with a good
description of one type of brain-machine cognitive-drug
interaction. It makes sense that if these substances heighten our
senses by turning up the volume control knob in our brains (making
us more alert, heightening our perceptions), then our perceptions
of the sensory stimuli and sensual experiences provided by the mind
machines will be made even more intense (and therefore more
memorable) by the drugs.
	But Thomas mentions another level of potential interaction
that could be even more significant: dramatically enhanced
creativity and problem-solving capacities.  As we've noted, there's
evidence that some of the cognition-enhancment substances influence
brain activity in ways that are similar or parallel to the mind-
machines, or selectively stimulate specific areas of the brain that
are also stimulated by brain machines.  Piracetam, for example,
produces what has been called "superconnectivity," facilitating the
flow of information between hemispheres, and there's increasing
evidence such hemispheric integration can facilitate creativity,
problem solving, and original thinking. Some of the brain machines
also seem to enhance hemispheric connectivity, for example some of
the sound and light machines, and the binaural or "Hemi Sync"
signal generators.  Is it possible that the combination of
piracetam and such brain tools could be potentiating, and
facilitate even greater hemispheric connectivity and greater
creativity?
	Vasopressin's intriguing ability to eliminate post-traumatic
amnesia becomes even more intriguing when we consider recent
research using cranial electrostimulation (CES) devices to treat
post-traumatic amnesia (such as the work of Dr. Allan Childs,
mentioned in the "Research Update" elsewhere in this issue). The
success of vasopressin (also Hydergine) in reversing memory loss
associated with aging is also interesting in light of evidence that
CES devices can have similar effects.  Is it possible that CES is
interacting with vasopressin or with those parts of the brain--the
hypothalamus, pituitary, hippocampus--that are also affected by
vasopressin or Hydergine?  Could vasopressin or Hydergine enhance
the effects of CES and vice versa, possibly leading to far more
effective treatments for memory loss and the decline with age of
other cognitive functions?
	Hydergine, Dilantin and other cognition-enhancement substances
alter or optimize electrical activity in the brain. There is also
evidence that many of the brain machines, including sound and light
devices, CES, vestibular stimulation machines, ganzfelds, and
binaural beat frequencies, alter the brain's electrical activity.
Again, could there be potential synergistic effects, leading to
more rapid and powerful alterations in bioelectrical patterns?
Dilantin's ability to regulate electrical activity makes it
extremely useful for treating epilepsy--is it possible that a
combination of Dilantin and, say, sound and light at selected
frequencies, could be an effective way to "train" the brain to
avoid epileptic seizures? If so it would constitute a significant
medical breakthrough.
	We are interested in learning more about such brain-machine
cognitive-drug interactions.  Perhaps you are interested too. If
you are, we hope you will complete the questionnaire that we have
included with this issue of the newsletter.

HOW TO OBTAIN COGNITION-ENHANCEMENT SUBSTANCES BY MAIL ORDER
	While some of the substances described above are not available
in the U.S., or are available only by prescription, it is easy and
quite legal to obtain these substances by mail order. One reason
some of these substances are not available in the U.S. is that they
have not yet gone through the extraordinarily expensive and lengthy
process required to obtain FDA approval.  This does not mean
however that it is not quite legal to use these substances. And
some of the substances have been approved by the FDA for limited
medical applications. This does not mean that it is not quite
proper to use these substances for "unapproved" purposes.
	In the April, 1982 issue of the FDA Drug Bulletin, the agency
included a policy statement clarifying the question of "unapproved"
uses for drugs, clearly stating that "'unapproved' uses may be
appropriate and rational in certain circumstances, and may, in
fact, reflect approaches to drug therapy that have been extensively
reported in medical literature. . . . Valid new uses for drugs
already on the market are often first discovered through
serendipitous observations and therapeutic innovations."  In sum,
the FDA clearly approves of the "unapproved" uses as an important
means for innovation and discovery.
	Also, though it is not widely known, a July, 1989 FDA ruling
now makes it quite legal to import effective drugs used elsewhere
but not available in the U.S. The FDA now allows the importation
and mail shipment of a three month supply of drugs, for personal
use, as long as they are regarded as safe in other countries. The
new ruling, FDA pilot guidelines chapter 971, was made as a result
of heavy pressure from AIDS political action groups, which insisted
AIDS sufferers were denied access to potentially life-saving
substances that were widely used abroad but were still unapproved
for use in the U.S.


FOR FURTHER INFORMATION:
	An excellent compendium of information about cognition-
enhancement drugs is Mind Food & Smart Pills, by Ross Pelton,
R.Ph., Ph.D., with Taffy Clarke Pelton, Doubleday (1989). Life
Extension: A Practical Scientific Approach by Durk Pearson and
Sandy Shaw, Warner (1983) is a rich source. For more detailed
information, consult the books and scientific papers below.

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__________. Your Personal Life-Extension Program, William Morrow,
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pp. 1-7.


John Morgenthaler has BA degrees in psychology and computer science
and has worked in the field of artificial intelligence. He is the
founder of the Cognitive Enhancement Research Institute (CERI) and
the president of INTREND Incorporated, a marketing firm.  He is the
author of the forthcoming book, Brain Food.  If you would like to
receive a publication announcement please write to: CERI, POB 483,
Santa Cruz, CA 96061.
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DISCLAIMER/WARNING
	This article is not intended to provide medical advice.  It
is intended to be educational and informational only.  Please
consult with a health professional for medical advice.
	The authors and Megabrain Report are not recommending that
anyone use any of the substances described, but rather are
presenting and seeking information. We emphasize that adequate
studies of both long and short term effects of some of these
substances have not been performed, that some of them can have
adverse side effects, and that all humans have different
biochemical natures and sensitivities, so that safe dosages of some
of these substances may vary enormously from individual to
individual. Also, some of these substances may be dangerous for
individuals not in sound mental and physical health.  As a result,
we strongly recommend that anyone interested in experimenting with
these substances do so with caution and under the supervision of
a medical professional. We strongly recommend that children and
pregnant or lactating women should not experiment with these
substances under any circumstances.
	Megabrain Report does not have any financial interest in any
of the drugs or nutrients or suppliers of such substances mentioned
in this article.
     


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