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Cognition enhancement drugs - emphasis on piracetam and its deriva





Cognition-Enhancement Drugs



This text has been excerpted from MEGABRAIN REPORT: THE

PSYCHOTECHNOLOGY NEWSLETTER. Included here are dosages,

precautions, and mail-order sources for three intelligence and

memory enhancing substances. Please feel free to duplicate this

excerpt and put it onto other bulletin boards or conference

systems. For a copy of the full length article, including

references, contact MEGABRAIN REPORT, POB 2744, Sausalito, CA

94965, Phone: (415) 332-8323, FAX: (415) 332-8327.



The authors of this article are Michael Hutchison and John

Morgenthaler.  Michael Hutchison is the editor and publisher of

MEGABRAIN REPORT and can be contacted there (see the address

above). He is also the author of the books, MegaBrain: New Tools

and Techniques For Brain Growth and Mind Expansion, The Book of

Floating, and the recently published Anatomy of Sex and Power: An

Investigation of Mind Body Politics.



John Morgenthaler is the co-author with Ward Dean, MD, of a full

length book on over thirty cognition enhancing compounds. The book

includes an index, references, and sources of compounds. John can

be contacted at POB 483 Santa Cruz, CA 95061, Phone: (800)

669-2030, MCI mail address: 3144541.  A free copy of the book goes

to anyone who posts this article to another bulletin board or

conference system.





COGNITION-ENHANCEMENT DRUGS

by Michael Hutchison and John Morgenthaler



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 has a synergistic effect that will create the optimal

psychobiological 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 the

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 that

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 these

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 that 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 the 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 the

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 initial 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 individuals 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 the 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 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 that 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 causes 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 syntheses 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 syntheses 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.

*****************************************
        Information on Legal Psychoactives

A little-known FDA ruling now allows the importation af a 3 month personal

supply of drugs as long as they are regarded as safe in other countries.
INTERLAB a mail order pharmacy was established in response to this new
FDA ruling.  Interlab carries a wide range of drugs for cognitive
enhancement, life extension, and treatment of AIDS not available in
America.
All  of the drugs briefly discuussed here can be pruchased without a
prescription fron them.  You can request a price sheet by writing to

INTERLAB
PO Box 587
Newport Pagnell,
Bucks,  England

You must include the following signed statement with your order:

        I hearby declare that the products I am purchasing are not for
commercial resale.  They are for my own personal use only. The supply
ordered does not exceed 3 months usage and they are used with the consent
of my physician.
                        [signed]

Some Highly regarded Chemicals include:

HYDERGINE (Ergoloid Mesylates)- Improves mental function, prevents
hypoxia and other damage to brain cells,increases blood supply to brain,
enhances brain metabolism, slows deposit of aging pigment and other
posistive effects
        PRECAUTIONS- Too large inital dose may cause nausea, gastric
disturbance or headache. Non-toxic even at very high dosages.
Contraindicated for individuals with acute or chronic psychosis.
        DOSE-    9-12 mg/Day
        COST-   100 x 5mg. oral tablets $39

SULBUTIAMINE (Arcalion)- Described as being like hydergine only better.
Facilitates wakefullness, inproves long-term memory, speeds reaction time
.
decreases anxiety.
        PRECAUTIONS- Do not exceed 3  x 200mg tablets at any time as may
cause severe headaches.  Other than this has no other adverse affects.
        DOSE-   2 x 200mg. tablets for 20 days.
        COST-   20 X 200 mg. tablets $11

VASSOPRESSIN (Diapid)- A brain hormone released by the pituitary.
Improve attention, concentration, memory and reacall.
Cocaine, LSD, amphetamines, Ritalin, and Cylert(pemoline) cause depletion
of vassopressin.  Marijuana and alchohol inhibit the release of vassopressin.
A Whiff of vassopressin can transform your experience in about 10 seconds
when using these drugs as it is an application of the specific hormone
being affected.
PRECAUTIONS-  Vassopressin occasionall produces the following side
affects; runny nose, nasal congestion, itch or irritation of the nasal cavities,
headache abdominal cramps and increased bowel movements.  Safety during
pregnancy unknown.
DOSE- Comes in a nasal spray bottle.  2-4 whiffs 3-4 time2 a day will
produce
noticeable affects in seconds.
COST-           12 ml. nasal spray $22

Send $6 with order for shipping, $10 for accelerated shiping

These are just a small cross section of the Interlab product line, but
they
have found favor with me and mine.
You may find the newletter of the Cognitive Enhancement Research
Institute  helpful.  Send $1.00 to
CERI
PO Box 483
Santa Cruz, CA 96061

Good Luck!



Excerpts from "Smart Drugs & Nutrients" by Ward Dean MD & John Morgenthaler


                          Piracetam (Nootropyl)

Piracetam is reported to be an intelligence booster and CNS (central nervous
system) stimulant with no known toxicity or addictive properties. Piracetam
is inexpensive (under $0.85 per day) and available by mail (see appendix A.)
The subjective effect described by some people is that piracetam, "wakes up
your brain." You'll find more personal accounts of the effects of this
remarkable drug in the case histories and testimonials appendix. It's effects
and safety are so impressive that piracetam prompted the creation of a new
pharmaceutical category called nootropics.

The term nootropic comes from a Greek word meaning "acting on the mind".
Since the invention of piracetam by UCB Laboratories in Belgium, other
pharmaceutical companies have been scrambling to develop their own
nootropics. Some of them being researched now include; vinpocetine,
aniracetam, pramiracetam, and oxiracetam. As yet, there is no nootropic
compound that id FDA approved for sale in the US, but there is plenty of
motivation on the part of pharmaceutical companies to get that approval.
Financial analysts expect that the US market for these cognitive enhancers
will soon be in excess of $1-billion per year (Pelton, 1989).

Piracetam is very similar in molecular structure to the amino acid
pyroglutamate (see Pyroglutamate). Piracetam and pyroglutamate have the same
"base" chemical structure, the 2-oxo-pyrrolidine, but they differ by the side
chain. Pyroglutamate is 2-oxo-pyrrolidine carboxylic acid, and piracetam is
2-oxo-pyrrolidine acetamide.

Piracetam enhances cognition under conditions of hypoxia (too little oxygen),
and also enhances memory and some kinds of learning in normal humans. Outside
of the US, piracetam is used to treat alcoholism, stroke, vertigo, senile
dementia, sickle cell anemia, dyslexia, and numerous other health problems
(Pelton, 1989).

The effect of piracetam can be increased if taken with DMAE, centrophenoxine,
choline, or Hydergine. When choline and piracetam are taken together there is
a synergistic effect that causes a greater improvement in memory than the sum
of each when taken alone (Bartus, 1981).

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. It may be that
the piracetam causes acetylcholine to be used up more quickly and that the
choline helps to replace this important neurotransmitter.

Once fascinating study suggests that piracetam might increase the number of
cholinergic receptors in the brain. Older mice were given piracetam for two
weeks and then the density of muscarinic cholinergic receptors in their
frontal cortexes was measured. The researchers found that these older mice
had 30-40% higher density of these receptors than before. (Pilch, 1988).
Piracetam, unlike many other drugs, appears to have a regenerative effect on
the nervous system.

One theory of Alzheimer's disease is that the decline of intellectual
functions is partly caused by a decreased activity of the cholinergic system
in the brain caused by cell death and cell degeneration. The researchers in
the above study speculated that their findings could explain how piracetam
works and could also explain the finding of Bartus, et. al. regarding a
profound effect of combining choline with piracetam on memory enhancement of
old rats.


As mentioned previously the late drug researcher Arthur Cherkin related to us
that he believed the combination of Hydergine and Piracetam potentiate each
other by 5 times. This highlights the importance of adjusting the dosage when
multiple substances are taken because, some of these substances will cause
paradoxical effects when excessive amounts are taken.

Although piracetam is a derivative of GABA (gamma amino butyric acid, a
neurotransmitter), there is no evidence that piracetam works through the
GABAergic system. Some research even suggests GABA may even inhibit memory
and learning (Zhang, 1989).

Precautions: Piracetam may increase the effects of certain drugs, such as
amphetamines, psychotropics, and Hydergine, as stated. Adverse effects are
rare but include insomnia, psychomotor agitation, nausea, gastrointestinal
distress, and headaches. Piracetam has virtually no known toxicity or
contraindications.

Dosage: Piracetam is supplied in 400mg or 800mg capsules or tablets. The
usual dose is 2400 to 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 often when people first take piracetam they do not notice
any effect at all until they take a high dose (approximately 4000 to
8000mg). Thereafter, they may notice that a lower dosage is sufficient.
Piracetam takes effect within 30 to 60 minutes.

Sources: Piracetam is not sold in the US. It can be purchased over the
counter in Mexico or by mail form the sources listed in appendix A. Other
names include: Avigilen, Cerebroforte, Cerebrospan, Cetam, Dinagen,
Encefalux, Encetrop, Euvifor, gabacet, Genogris, Memo-Puren, Nootron,
Nootrop, Nootropil, Nootropyl, Normabrain, Norzetam, Pirroxil, Psycotron,
Stimucortex, and UCB-6215.


-------------------------------------------------------------------------
APPENDIX D: Testimonials & Case Histories

Testimonials and case histories are always suspect in scientific circles.
This is because the human mind is so powerful at producing the placebo
effect. Humans repeatedly experience powerful drug effects from taking
inactive substances when they believe that the substances are drugs. That is
why we rely on references to scientific research for the information we
present.

We include this appendix of testimonials and case histories so that you may
orient yourself as to which substances you would like to try. If you would
like to share your experiences with us, whether they are similar or different
than the ones described here, please feel free to write to the authors c/o
B&J Publications, PO Box 483, Santa Cruz, CA 95061-0483.

Piracetam:

 "My secretary responded so well to piracetam (at doses of only 800mg) that I
decided to give her a small raise so she could afford it. She takes piracetam
instead of heading for the coffee machine. Every day she takes it she is
decidedly more alert, and intelligent acting and she smiles more. She is
overall a much better employee. She says it wakes up her brain." -JM

 "Piracetam keeps me alert when I am driving. It also helps me to formulate
new and different ideas when I am taking essay tests in school." - DB

 "I liked piracetam so much that I decided to try it with vincamine and
xanthinol nicotinate. I took standard doses of all three - 2400mg of
piracetam, 20mg of vincamine, and 300mg of xanthinol nicotinate. I actually
felt stupid! I had the "right on the tip of my tongue" response for hours.

Recently a friend suggested that I combine Hydergine with piracetam,
explaining that the two synergize each other, and that I should try a small
dose of each. I had tried Hydergine years ago and liked it a lot, but found
it prohibitively expensive. I decided to experiment with these two in
combination with ginkgo biloba. I started with what I thought were very small
quantities, 1/4mg of Hydergine, 200mg of piracetam, and 50mg of ginkgo, but
found the combination to be extraordinary. I've tried many different
cognitive enhancers, but this low-cost, low-dose combination is my favorite."
-BP

 "I started taking piracetam with choline about a year ago and have found
this combination to be one of the best things that ever happened to me. I no
longer get extreme mood swings, I am much happier in general, and my
concentration and speaking ability is better. I also found that my
relationships with family and friends have improved, probably due to my
increased self confidence." - HH

 "I took two grams of piracetam and, after 30 minutes, I began to find my
boyfriend much more sexually attractive. I assumed this was as fluke since I
had never heard of this effect from piracetam. Since this experience I have
taken piracetam every day for two months and every time, without fail, it has
the same effect. Piracetam has vastly improved my sex life." -DB

 "Intelligence is the ultimate aphrodisiac." - Tim Leary


Interlab.

        INTERLAB
        BCM BOX 5890
        LONDON WC1N 3XX
        ENGLAND U.K.


The other suppliers (PI/InHome) have similar problems, apparently.


Hydergine is also available from the Life Extension Pharmacy,
800-822-5388, for 1000 1mg tablets , $149.00



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