In a study of people with dementia, the stimulation of NGF over 6 months created improvements in perceptual capacities as well as well as an increase in the Functional Independence Measure (FIM), which is a measure of independence in physical capabilities (eating, dressing, walking, etc.) and in perceptual capacities (understanding, communication, memory, etc.).
This seems to suggest that NGF produces global improvements in brain function.
That study was conducted with Lion's Mane.
In addition to Lion's Mane, Ashitaba and idebenone stimulate production of NGF. http://www.organicas...ervegrowth.html
Looking to maximize this effect, I also take Acetyl L Carnitine, which multiplies the effect of NGF by 100 apparently. I think the mechanism of action is increasing the number of NGF receptor sites.
In 1991, it was discovered that the presence of acetyl carnitine increased the effects of nerve growth factor on the outgrowth of neurites from brain cells 100 times greater than when just nerve growth factor itself was present. This was an interesting observation at the time but nerve growth factor is an internally produced protein in the brain and it was not really known how to stimulate or regulate its production.
Along these same lines, I am thinking about taking Acetyl L Carnitine Arginate.
From the same article:
In 1995 it was discovered that the supplement acetyl carnitine arginate mimicked the effect of nerve growth factor and caused neurite outgrowth of PC12 cells “in a manner similar to that elicited to by nerve growth factor (itself).”3 Synergy between acetyl carnitine arginate and acetyl carnitine had earlier been demonstrated when both were tested separately and together on brain cells and found to be highly synergistic in the production of the neurotransmitters GABA, glutamate, somatostatin and other brain peptides.
Although not a stimulator of NGF, ashwagandha promotes regeneration of axons and dendrites.
Using a validated model of damaged nerve cells and impaired nerve-signaling pathways, re-searchers noted that ashwagandha supported significant regeneration of the axons and dendrites of nerve cells. Furthermore, ashwagandha extract supported the reconstruction of synapses, the junctions where nerve cells communicate with other cells. The investigators concluded that ashwagandha extract helps to reconstruct networks of the nervous system
In another study at the same institute, researchers found that ashwagandha helped support the growth of nerve cell dendrites, which allow these cells to receive communications from other cells. This finding suggests that ashwagandha could help heal the brain tissue changes that accompany dementia.
Finally, in a third published study, the researchers noted that ashwagandha helped promote the growth of both normal and damaged nerve cells, suggesting that the herb may boost healthy brain cell function as well as benefit diseased nerve cells.
Do you think, over time, that everyone will see the same effect as those seen for dementia patients? Or will the production of axons, dendrites, and new nerve cells be unnoticeable?
Can you think of any adverse consequences to revving up the production of NGF over extended periods of time? Given that the body is a homeostatic system and that the natural levels of NGF probably serve some purpose, there must be some sort of drawback to stimulating NGF over a period of years, which is what I'm planning to do.
Edited by bmud, 28 January 2010 - 05:34 PM.