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Neurohacking - Tutorials
Written by NHA   
Wednesday, 18 November 2009 01:01
Article Index
Neurohacking Tutorial 5 - Improving & Augmenting N1 & N2
Stress And Relaxation in Rear Networks
Growth And Development vs Protection Modes
What Happens If Things Go Wrong
Cells That Fire Together Wire Together
Motivation, Coercion and Unconditional Positive Regard
NHA Guide to Methods and Tech
Hacks and Exercices
Notes, References & Answers
All Pages

 

 

NHA Guide to Methods & Technology

 

Working with Chemicals for N1 & N2

There is so much stuff on the market for ‘mind improvement’ these days that it can be very confusing finding what you need. We’ll look briefly at relevant techniques or technology for the networks you’re working on in each tutorial from now on in this section. If you want to know more details, visit the relevant sections of the files.

A ‘drug’ is usually thought of by most people as either a ‘medicine’ that comes with a doctor’s prescription, or something illegal purchased on street corners from unscrupulous persons with suspicious haircuts, but we have to go beyond such stereotypes here and try to make a chemist out of you. (If you’re a chemist already, it’s okay to have a suspicious haircut).

In neurohacking, we tend to think of all chemical substances including drugs and nutrients as exactly what they are –chemicals.

All substances are potential drugs, in the chemistry sense. Sugar or salt can have just as profound an effect on the human brain and body as aspirin or sleeping tablets, and all substances, ingested or produced inside the body, have some kind of an effect.

It is wise to remember that many substances that are essential nutrients or life saving medicines can also be deadly poisons in higher doses. Plants were humankind’s first medicines as well as foods, and many drugs today are still made from plants. Sugar and salt are used to treat dehydration in many tropical gastro-intestinal diseases, but a pint of salt water on an empty stomach could well kill you. No chemical substance is ‘good’ or ‘bad’ in itself; its benefit or harm depends on how we use it. Heroin has saved many an injured person from death through shock, and many prescription drugs taken exactly as directed have killed people via ‘side effects’. These days, hormones and even neurotransmitters are used as drugs, both in the medicinal and the recreational sense.

Thus we approach ‘chemicals’ in a purely scientific sense, because if you can get into that habit of thinking, your awareness of what you are putting into yourself and what the consequences are likely to be will be that much more astute. Herbs, drugs, vitamins, supplements and even food; we don’t make a distinction here because biology doesn’t –it will treat all things entering your body as exactly what they are.

Alcohol, tobacco, cannabis, caffeine and prescription medicines are all subject to different laws or rules in different countries. In some countries certain substances are illegal and you should find out what the laws are where you live. It may also be illegal in some countries to import or export herbs, plants and seeds and some herbal remedies. Some social groups such as Mormons or Vegans also strongly discourage or ban some substances and you should be careful not to offend.

You are probably using some substances to augment your brain’s performance in some areas already [for example coffee, alcohol, sugar, nicotine]. The common sense rule for working with chemicals is to always try to find the gentlest, safest, most effective product.

A big problem with chemicals is adulteration. This happens with prescription drugs, supplements and vitamins which can have all kinds of extra ingredients that might not be good for you. Supposedly authentic medications bought online can turn out to be simply colored chalk. Adulteration also happens in food and drink, and if you suffer from allergies and/or mood swings, this is one of the first places to look.

Here is a graph of the most dangerous substances commonly in use:

 


 

Some of these results may surprise you.

 

Latest (2009) Chemicals for N1 & N2

  • Adderall, a stimulant composed of mixed amphetamine salts, (is commonly prescribed for ADHD). Increases dopamine and norepinephrine.
  • Ampakines, which target a type of glutamate receptor in the brain; prescribed for memory loss associated with diseases like Alzheimer’s. Improve working memory, attention and alertness, improves communication between the two brain hemispheres.. Four structural classes of ampakine drugs have been developed so far, most useful are the racetam drugs such aspiracetam and aniracetam.
  • Centrophenoxine raises brain acetylcholine levels thereby increasing alertness and attention span and improving learning ability.
  • Cholinesterase inhibitors, which are already being used with some success to treat Alzheimer’s patients. Improve alertness and memory recall.
  • Desmospressin (see: Vasopressin) Bovine and porcine versions of Vasopressin such as Diapid (Lypressin and Argipressin) have been withdrawn from the World market. They are being replaced by a synthetic version called Desmopressin, (branded DesmoSpray or Minurin). Desmospressin has more potency and a longer half-life than the previous animal-sourced Vasopressin.
  • Donepezil (Aricept ), Improves verbal and visual episodic memory and sensorimotor responses.
  • Galantamine, is extracted from the snowdrop plant (a type of daffodil) and is used as an Alzheimer's treatment under the brand name Reminyl. Improves memory and learning ability. Inhibits acetylcholinesterase, the enzyme that breaks down acetylcholine (the brain neurotransmitter necessary for learning and memory), stimulates brain nicotinic receptors, and reduces the build up of amyloid plaque (deposits containing amyloid peptide and dead neurons) in the brain.
  • Huperzine A (Huperzia serrata) is found in Chinese Moss and enhances mental functioning by prolonging the life of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine.
  • Idebenone, increases Nerve Growth Factor (NGF) in the brain. Evidence for benefits is sparse, although it is a powerful anti-oxidant it has side effects, possible gastrointestinal disturbances, dizziness, headaches, anxiety and uneasiness and sleep alterations. Green tea is just as powerful an anti-oxidant and comes without these snags.
  • Magnesium – a mineral found in nuts, legumes and green vegetables such as spinach – may be as effective a memory enhancer as genetic manipulation. The magnesium ion blocks entry to the NMDA receptor so more magnesium forces brain cells to increase expression levels of the more efficient NR2B to compensate. (12)
  • Phenserine, a potent acetylcholinesterase inhibitor. Improves focus, concentration and alertness.
  • Picamilon, enhances cerebral circulation. Picamilon is used in Russia to treat anxiety, depression, headaches, glaucoma, and eye disorders.
  • Piracetam, Factual data on piracetam’s benefits for healthy people are virtually nonexistent, it is thought to enhance acetylcholine, and many users believe that the drug increases blood flow to the brain and improves association.
  • Provigil, known generically as modafinil, which was developed to treat narcolepsy, and Nuvigil, a longer-lasting variant of Provigil. Increases dopamine and norepinephrine, improves attention, concentration and alertness.
  • Pyrinitol, used since 1961 for various cognitive conditions such as dementia, head injury, stroke recovery, coma, Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and cerebral circulatory disorders. Improves memory, concentration, and to enhance information processing.
  • Ritalin (methylphenidate), commonly prescribed for ADHD. Increases dopamine and norepinephrine. Improves attention & focus.
  • Vasopressin (& Desmopressin), Vasopressin is a peptide hormone found naturally in the brain and is partly responsible for the formation of memories. Its effects rapidly improve short-term memory and enhance memory imprints (i.e. after the event). Using vasopressin (nasal spray) 15 minutes before recall or concentration is required produces a marked affect, sometimes within seconds, which can then last for a few hours.
  • Vasopressin or desmopressin should be avoided if you suffer from cardiovascular problems, and only used infrequently, (i.e. only as necessary). Side effects include nausea and headaches. Caution, avoid the intake of large amounts of liquids when using Vasopressin, as the drug's “approved” use is to decrease the frequency of urination, excessive water intake can dilute salt in the body leading to vomiting and in the worst possible case- convulsions.
  • Vinpocentine, is a periwinkle plant extract that dilates arteries of the brain but does not dilate other blood vessels. Improves the brain's utilization of glucose, and increases ATP within the brain's neurons.


 

Best of the Mixes (2009)

“Get Smart”

Contains Huperzine A (an extract from Chinese moss that prevents brain deterioration), periwinkle extract, Aniracetam and Oxiracetam, which are both in the Racetam family, like Piracetam, Vinpocetine, Centrophenoxine, Picamilon, Idebenone, Galantamine, and Pyritinol (a drug used in Europe to aid healing in severe head trauma). Improves focus and memory, and enhances creativity.

“Learning Factors”

Contains tuna-fish–oil extract (omega 3), omega-6 fatty acids, borage oil. Omega 3 improves overall brain condition, assists myelination and improves concentration, memory and comprehension. Borage oil is an anti-inflammatory. Claims to contain 40 brain-boosting substances but most seem to be minerals and vitamins, which may or may not be chelated. Read the jar carefully.

Oldies and Goldies

Alcohol (ethanol) and Benzodiazepines decrease glutamate and increase GABA, norepinephrine and dopamine.

Alcohol has varied and diverse effects on the nervous system, including influences on membranes, ion channels and multiple neurotransmitters. So do benzodiazepines. Alcohol is useful for: anxiety reduction, controlling memory, emotion enhancement, confidence, euphoria. Side effects: decreased attention, loss of or alterations in memory, mood changes and drowsiness. Caffeine and theophylline reduce the sedative and motor-incoordinating side effects of alcohol (Dunwiddie 1995)

Benzodiazepines (including chlordiazepoxide and diazepam) are useful for: anxiety reduction, controlling memory, sedation, reducing the effects of alcohol withdrawal. They can enhance the effects of other drugs, particularly alcohol. Alcohol and/or benzodiazepines are not a good idea for long term use because: (a) it results in down-regulation of GABA receptors. (b) Together, they're a good combination for death.

Lay off sleeping tablets except in an emergency. They are bad, bad news, for your mind.

Nicotine, increases dopamine, glutamate, norepinephrine, endorphins and acetylcholine (and if taken with fluoxetine, increases serotonin). Is useful for: Attention and concentration enhancement, anxiety reduction, reflex enhancement. Side effects are well known and largely due to oxidation; if you use nicotine you should use lots of antioxidants. It is actually safer to smoke nicotine with small amounts of cannabis than without!

Cannabis increases dopamine, anandamide, endorphins and acetylcholine, decreases GABA

THC acts on neuron conduction, stimulating polysynaptic transmission. Another chemical present in cannabis is cannabidiol (CBD) which may have anti-psychotic properties. Anandamide is involved in regulating mood, memory, appetite, pain, cognition, and emotions.

Cannabinoids are useful for: Controlling memory, euphoria, giddiness, relaxation, sedation and pain-relief. For some people they are also useful for anxiety relief. Cannabinoids are not a good idea for long term, heavy use because (a) you cannot remember anything, (b) the resulting neurochemical imbalance will lead to paranoia and lack of confidence, and finally neurosis or worse.

Psychostimulants (speed, cocaine, ecstasy), Amphetamines and cocaine increase dopamine, glutamate, serotonin and norepinephrine.

Ecstasy (MDMA) increases serotonin, dopamine, norepinephrine and oxytocin. Side effects: Electrolyte balance needs to be carefully monitored to avoid dehydration or hyperhydration. When intake of the drug ceases, the excess turns into a shortage.

Psychostimulants are useful for: euphoria, elation, alertness, attention focusing, mood-elevation, appetite suppression and fatigue reduction.

Opiates (morphine, heroin, codeine) increase dopamine and endorphins, decrease GABA.

Opiates are useful for: Pain relief, cough suppressants, controlling diarrhea, bronchio-dilatory, relaxation, imagination enhancement, emotion enhancement, and creativity.


Looking at the changes in neural function resulting from long-term use is essential when choosing your chemical candidates for neurohacking. Activation of the mesolimbic dopamine system is the cause of the euphoria initially produced by many drugs, but the increases in serotonin and norepinephrine transmission caused by some also contribute to the elevated mood. Choose wisely, and use with care.

You can use much more than drugs to enhance emotion. At the psychological end of the scale you can use music, movies, books or pictures. At the tech end of the scale you can use biofeedback, TMS, and neuro-stimulation. You can use aversion therapy if you want to. You can put various techniques together and go for a hard take off, or use one at a time to go step by step.

There is more information about drugs for different networks as we are going along.


Latest Research (2009)

There are over 100 compounds in clinical development right now focused on treating some form of memory loss. The most promising are looking at transgenic over-expression of the NR2B gene, which in turn increased communication between NMDA receptor sites maybe a hundred milliseconds longer than normal, just enough to enhance learning and memory. (REFSX)

Several pharmaceutical companies are working on drugs that target nicotine receptors in the brain, in the hope that they can replicate the cognitive uptick that smokers get from cigarettes.

Cognitive psychologists have found that there is a trade-off between attentional focus and creativity. And there is some evidence that suggests that individuals who are better able to focus on one thing and filter out distractions tend to be less creative.


Avoiding Toxins

We have already looked at food additives and toxins in personal products in tutorial 2. Here we take a look at pollution in your immediate environment.

We’re not just talking about car exhausts and coal smoke here…the worst pollutants affecting the brain (and body) currently are aerosols. Show me a household where a previously healthy person suddenly develops asthma, and I’ll show you a cupboard full of aerosols.

Air fresheners are pretty bad too…you may not know this, but those little cardboard ‘fresh-air’ or ‘de-odorizer’ things that people hang in their cars/bathrooms/office don’t actually make the smell go away. They work by blocking your nasal neuron receptors, and after a certain length of exposure the receptors die. You are actually destroying your own sense of smell by using the things. The worst part is, to people who don’t use them, you car/house/office still smells of whatever it did before you became unable to smell it!

As well as scents that we are conscious of, our sense of smell gives us vital input regarding pheromones/trace chemicals that we don’t actually detect consciously, and without those receptor neurons your amygdala can’t accurately compute danger signals (or even take hints). Do your perception a favor and avoid these things.

Metals are important, especially if you are suffering memory loss. If the brain begins to degenerate it can have trouble getting rid of trace metals, so avoid aluminium foil or pans, copper and brass jewellery [despite the rumors] and any unnecessary metallic packaging on food. Always wash fruit and veg –[either it is non-organic and has been sprayed with pesticides, or it is organic, in which case the insects probably didn’t bother climbing off it to go to the toilet.]

Nasty things get put into street drugs too, and are the cause of many deaths that then get the original substance a bad press. In some countries you can get substances tested to confirm what they are, or you can look into how to test things yourself. If you are ever offered anything from anywhere that you doubt the quality or authenticity of, don’t risk it. Some people are sadly very unscrupulous and you could be swallowing anything, including toilet cleaner.

 

What to Look For

Get your supplies from a reputable dealer. We recommend sellers that we have dealt with successfully ourselves in the “where to get things” section of the files.

Make sure any vitamins/supplements you buy are chelated and/or in liquid form.

 

Practical Assignment

Go through your home, and make it neuro-friendly. Locate and chuck out anything mentioned in ‘pollution’ above, and write yourself a shopping list full of brain-friendly products. [If you buy healthy food, you’ll often eat it by default rather than go shopping again]. Keep reminding yourself that you and your brain deserve the best.

Start behaving like a smarter, healthier person and (without having to do any work at all), you’ll find you have become one  :  )

 


Spiritual Advice

“A rat’s journey of a thousand miles begins with one little rat footstep.” –If you think you’re in pretty bad shape, or if things seem like an uphill struggle, don’t underestimate the power of lots of tiny little changes. Every single change you make is a step along the path towards optimal mental ability; towards entelechy. Even if you only achieve healthy long life and freedom from mental decline with age, you’ve still achieved something pretty valuable!

 

 



Last Updated on Monday, 29 May 2017 18:10