As a relative newbie to the field, I’m still trying to get my head around how neurotransmitters actually work, so as to understand how they are being manipulated when we take nootropic drugs/antidepressants, etc.
For example, I have a lot of minor allergies and suffer from motion sickness, so when necessary I take Benadryl to relieve these symptoms. I read that diphenhydramine is an anticholinergic agent as well as an antihistamine, and so, with my rudimentary knowledge, I took this to mean that this drug physically reduces the amount of acetylcholine in the nervous system. However, after further reading, it seems like anticholinergics work by binding to acetylcholine receptors, thus blocking the transmission of acetylcholine, leaving an abundance of ACh floating around in the synapses.
Will this process therefore result in a build-up of ACh until the half-life of the Benadryl elapses?
Or will all of the excess ACh be hydrolyzed by acetylcholinesterase, hence confirming my initial assumption that global levels of ACh will be depleted?
I ask because, while a welcome relief to the allergic symptoms and/or motion-induced nausea, Benadryl leaves me in a state of malaise for about 24-48 hours after I take it. That hypnotic drowsiness characteristic of drugs (as opposed to fatigue) leaves me absent-minded, apathetic and unable to concentrate, and I was wondering whether I could alleviate these after-effects by taking a choline supplement such as Alpha GPC? I’m in this zombie-like state of being right now; it’s extremely frustrating. I begin writing a sentence and half way through lose my train of thought, which leads to incessant deleting and retyping. I feel my writing style also becomes very clinical/robotic when I’m feeling this way, whereas normally my language is full of analogies, imagery and metaphors. This is bad news given that I study English Literature with Creative Writing at university and have several major deadlines looming.
I want to start a wider discussion on some of the seemingly paradoxical properties of acetylcholine when it comes to creativity and cognition, but I feel that’s one for another thread :D
Incidentally, if someone took a choline supplement alongside diphenhydramine, would it have any effect? My guess would be no, as I imagine it would simply be added to the heap of ‘locked out’ acetylcholine precipitated by the Benadryl, but correct me if I am wrong.
Thanks for reading, your thoughts are much appreciated