With healthy adrenals, and particularly healthy levels of the hormone "aldosterone," your pupils will constrict, and will stay small the entire time you shine the light from the side. In adrenal insufficiency, the pupil will get small, but within 30 seconds, it will soon enlarge again or obviously flutter in it’s attempt to stay constricted. Why does this occur? Because adrenal insufficiency can also result in low aldosterone, which causes a lack of proper amounts of sodium and an abundance of potassium. This imbalance causes the sphincter muscles of your eye to be weak and to dilate in response to light.
So, here's the connection.
Aldosterone receptors are involved in the mediation of the memory-enhancing effects of piracetam.
Mondadori C, Häusler A.
Pharmaceutical Research Department, CIBA-GEIGY Limited, Basel, Switzerland.
The blockade of the memory-enhancing effects of piracetam resulting from adrenalectomy can be abolished by substitution with either corticosterone or aldosterone. However, corticosterone substitution does not reinstate these effects if the aldosterone receptors are blocked by the aldosterone antagonist epoxymexrenon.
J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 1992 Mar;41(3-8):785-9.
Adrenalectomy, corticosteroid replacement and their importance for drug-induced memory-enhancement in mice.
Häusler A, Persoz C, Buser R, Mondadori C, Bhatnagar A.
Research Department, Pharmaceuticals Division, CIBA-GEIGY Ltd., Basel, Switzerland.
Adrenalectomy blocks the memory-improving effect of piracetam-like compounds in mice. If this blockade is due to the removal of endogenous corticosteroids, replacement therapy with exogenous corticosteroids should reinstate the effects on memory. The present experiments were designed to determine the appropriate replacement dose (concentration in the drinking fluid) for corticosterone and aldosterone, the main corticosteroids in mice. Based on the effects of corticosterone on thymus weight, replacement with 3 micrograms/ml corticosterone given in the drinking fluid (0.9% NaCl) for one week was found to be appropriate. The appropriate replacement dose for aldosterone was found by giving aldosterone to adrenalectomized (ADX) mice in the drinking fluid in combination with 3 micrograms/ml corticosterone. The combination of 3 micrograms/ml corticosterone + 30 ng/ml aldosterone resulted in a plasma ratio of corticosterone/aldosterone which most closely approximated the ratio seen in sham-ADX control animals. The physiologic adequacy of the corticosteroid replacement doses resulting from this study were clearly demonstrated in subsequent behavioral experiments where blockade of the memory-enhancing effects of piracetam by adrenalectomy were overcome by replacement with either 3 micrograms/ml corticosterone or 30 ng/ml aldosterone given in the drinking fluid.
So, when I discovered that aldosterone insufficiency was easy to test with the pupil reflex test, and that aldosterone was also indicated in piracetam's mechanism of action, it was not hard to infer that the reason Piracetam can work wonderfully for a few months and then seem to have negative effects in the same person may be directly connected to the function of that person's adrenals, and specifically, their levels of aldosterone.
I believe that Piracetam places an extra strain on the adrenals, and this explains the paradoxical brain fog and drowsiness that so many users report: and the mystery of its unreliability/inconsistency. When a person's adrenals are already strained, be it from lack of sleep and too much stress, or something more sinister, like hypothyroid or addison's disease, the use of a -racetam places extra stress on levels of aldosterone and corticosterone, and when these hormones are already in shortage, usage only exacerbates negative symptoms of aldosterone deficiency.
So far, a few of the treatments I am exploring include, but are not limited to:
-Adrenal Cortex (Isocort or Hydrocortisone)
-Ashwagandha, Rhodiola Rosea, and/or Panax Ginseng
-Ferritin (Iron), B6/B12
-Vinpocetine and Ginko Biloba (vasodilation)
-Borage Oil/Cod Liver Oil
These are all aimed at improving the function of the thyroid/HPA Axis. I believe that when the HPA axis is restored to healthy functioning, piracetam will have a consistent positive effect in the user.
On November 24th I'm seeing an endocrinologist to have a full panel of tests. Of course, by then I hope to have restored my adrenals as much as possible by supplementation, healthy stress reduction and sleep management, diet and exercise, but the results will still be valuable.
For now, I want everyone who is interested in putting this piracetam mystery to rest to do this very simple test
. It will tell you a lot about your body and it will help the greater community.