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Hazy brain function, unclear thoughts, problems with focusing and depression


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107 replies to this topic

#31 rwac

  • Location:Dimension X
  • yes

Posted 28 September 2012 - 09:24 PM

Hi RWAC, actually, I decided to take 10mg of Ritalin from an old stash that I had last night... just to see what might happen. I took it after about an hour of eating a sandwich - which had bread, pork and veggies, so I guess a bit of all, and it felt a little tight around the chest (not in a suffocating way, but in a sublt weird way), and also made me feel dry... kind of similar to the explanation in my post that you quoted... IT did stimulate me a little in the beginning 45 minutes or so and got me to write a lot.. but for the last 2-3 hours it was not as nice. What do you reckon?


Just as an experiment eat some rice or potatoes an hour before you take the ritalin. Im thinking large dose of carbs, and maybe even some sugar. Not citrus though, it can block absorption, I believe.

If you start to get tired perhaps a little sugar may perk you up.

This is just an experiment give it a shot, I suspect you're going hypoglycemic and your liver production of glucose isn't keeping up with the increased demand due to the ritalin.

Please let us know if it works ...

#32 Rational Madman Re: Hazy brain function, unclear thoughts, problems with focusing and depression

  • Location:District of Columbia

Posted 28 September 2012 - 11:24 PM

Since Ritalin has a fairly short half-life, I would switch to an agent of greater potency and duration. I know Selegiline is quite popular with the discussion board crowd, but it's rarely used clinically---which really has nothing to do with identity of the drug's manufacturer. Modafinil and its isomer, Armodafinil, are also popular for varied reasons, but really, are more aptly suited for disorders characterized by accelerated methyltransferase, or pronounced fatigue. Rather, for enhancing focus, amphetamine compounds don't really possess a rival, and unfortunately, have acquired a bad reputation due to poorly modeled experiments, and the predictable hysteria that arises from threats that are blown out of proportion by hypersensitive information consumers.

Enhancing focus is multivariate, which means that there are multiple factors that may interfere with the drug's desired outcome. So here are some things to consider:
-The consumption of coffee should confer multiple benefits that complement the drug's therapeutic effect---MAO inhibition, acetylcholinesterase inhibition, mitigating inflammation, and reducing the onset of tolerance---primarily through its effect on cAMP dependent signaling cascades.
-I would also consider using Sudafed, which is a parent molecule of amphetamine, but should potentiate its effect through a distinct mechanism that might have something to do with the a1 (adrenergic) family of receptors.
-For varying reasons, and because I don't want to spend time explaining the individual rationale for each agent, you should also consider taking ground chia seeds, defatted peanut flour, DMAE, Alka Seltzer Gold, Advil, beet juice, sauerkraut juice, a high quality liquid multivitamin, White Mountain Bulgarian yogurt, celery, shiitake mushrooms, ginger, cloves, sage, cinnamon, swiss chard, broccoli, citrus peels, vinpocetine, taurine, chlorophyll, carnosine powder, licorice root, garlic cloves, copious amounts of electrolyte water, and larger than recommended doses of folic acid/B-12 combinations---with an emphasis on folic acid.
-As for lifestyle choices, there's the oft recommended exercise, phototherapy, socializing, stress mitigation, limiting your alcohol intake, and the less prescribed moderation of sexual activity.
-Additionally, avoid extravagant---or exotic---supplements, and instead, familiarize yourself with pharmacology---so you don't get sodomized by a poorly regulated and unscrupulous industry.

Edited by Rational Madman, 28 September 2012 - 11:25 PM.

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#33 Rational Madman Re: Hazy brain function, unclear thoughts, problems with focusing and depression

  • Location:District of Columbia

Posted 28 September 2012 - 11:30 PM


Hi RWAC, actually, I decided to take 10mg of Ritalin from an old stash that I had last night... just to see what might happen. I took it after about an hour of eating a sandwich - which had bread, pork and veggies, so I guess a bit of all, and it felt a little tight around the chest (not in a suffocating way, but in a sublt weird way), and also made me feel dry... kind of similar to the explanation in my post that you quoted... IT did stimulate me a little in the beginning 45 minutes or so and got me to write a lot.. but for the last 2-3 hours it was not as nice. What do you reckon?


Just as an experiment eat some rice or potatoes an hour before you take the ritalin. Im thinking large dose of carbs, and maybe even some sugar. Not citrus though, it can block absorption, I believe.

If you start to get tired perhaps a little sugar may perk you up.

This is just an experiment give it a shot, I suspect you're going hypoglycemic and your liver production of glucose isn't keeping up with the increased demand due to the ritalin.

Please let us know if it works ...

Sure, but any stimulant should increase blood sugar levels. And in the OP's case, I think it's more of an issue of responding optimally to the prescribed stimulant---and other modes of stimulation.

#34 Pirate Re: Hazy brain function, unclear thoughts, problems with focusing and depression

  • Location:aus

Posted 29 September 2012 - 03:57 AM

Often people who take Ritalin and have negative side effects, have better results with dexamphetamines. Any psychiatrist who prescribed you Ritalin shouldn't have any issue changing your prescription to Dex. It's like trying different anti-depressants - some work, some don't. If you have depression as well some folks have had luck with Edronax (you'd have to look up your local brand name, I'm in Australia and it may have a different name where you are). Edronax is used as a stimulating antidepressant to combat fatigue associated with depression.



#35 Templanoid Re: Hazy brain function, unclear thoughts, problems with focusing and depression

  • Location:California, USA

Posted 30 September 2012 - 08:45 PM


Hi RWAC, actually, I decided to take 10mg of Ritalin from an old stash that I had last night... just to see what might happen. I took it after about an hour of eating a sandwich - which had bread, pork and veggies, so I guess a bit of all, and it felt a little tight around the chest (not in a suffocating way, but in a sublt weird way), and also made me feel dry... kind of similar to the explanation in my post that you quoted... IT did stimulate me a little in the beginning 45 minutes or so and got me to write a lot.. but for the last 2-3 hours it was not as nice. What do you reckon?


Just as an experiment eat some rice or potatoes an hour before you take the ritalin. Im thinking large dose of carbs, and maybe even some sugar. Not citrus though, it can block absorption, I believe.

If you start to get tired perhaps a little sugar may perk you up.

This is just an experiment give it a shot, I suspect you're going hypoglycemic and your liver production of glucose isn't keeping up with the increased demand due to the ritalin.

Please let us know if it works ...

Ok, so I tried this and I must say.. it worked!! To a certain degree at least. I ate some rice and potatoes (prepared Indian style) about an hour or so before taking 10mg of Ritalin, and I definitely did NOT feel any of the aforementioned physical side effects of chest tightness, feeling of dehydration or anything. I did feel the stimulation and some form of elation and it reduced my anxiety.. made me flow a bit better. But again, it did not necessarily give me cognition enhancing effects.


Since Ritalin has a fairly short half-life, I would switch to an agent of greater potency and duration. I know Selegiline is quite popular with the discussion board crowd, but it's rarely used clinically---which really has nothing to do with identity of the drug's manufacturer. Modafinil and its isomer, Armodafinil, are also popular for varied reasons, but really, are more aptly suited for disorders characterized by accelerated methyltransferase, or pronounced fatigue. Rather, for enhancing focus, amphetamine compounds don't really possess a rival, and unfortunately, have acquired a bad reputation due to poorly modeled experiments, and the predictable hysteria that arises from threats that are blown out of proportion by hypersensitive information consumers.

Enhancing focus is multivariate, which means that there are multiple factors that may interfere with the drug's desired outcome. So here are some things to consider:
-The consumption of coffee should confer multiple benefits that complement the drug's therapeutic effect---MAO inhibition, acetylcholinesterase inhibition, mitigating inflammation, and reducing the onset of tolerance---primarily through its effect on cAMP dependent signaling cascades.
-I would also consider using Sudafed, which is a parent molecule of amphetamine, but should potentiate its effect through a distinct mechanism that might have something to do with the a1 (adrenergic) family of receptors.
-For varying reasons, and because I don't want to spend time explaining the individual rationale for each agent, you should also consider taking ground chia seeds, defatted peanut flour, DMAE, Alka Seltzer Gold, Advil, beet juice, sauerkraut juice, a high quality liquid multivitamin, White Mountain Bulgarian yogurt, celery, shiitake mushrooms, ginger, cloves, sage, cinnamon, swiss chard, broccoli, citrus peels, vinpocetine, taurine, chlorophyll, carnosine powder, licorice root, garlic cloves, copious amounts of electrolyte water, and larger than recommended doses of folic acid/B-12 combinations---with an emphasis on folic acid.
-As for lifestyle choices, there's the oft recommended exercise, phototherapy, socializing, stress mitigation, limiting your alcohol intake, and the less prescribed moderation of sexual activity.
-Additionally, avoid extravagant---or exotic---supplements, and instead, familiarize yourself with pharmacology---so you don't get sodomized by a poorly regulated and unscrupulous industry.

Sorry, I don't exactly understand your point in your first paragraph. Are you saying than Amphetamines (ie Ritalin, Selegiline, etc) is the best for focus?

Also, you mention Modafinil is good for pronounced fatigue.. which I seem to have. I am always constantly fatigued and don't look stimulated at all. Would Modafinil be good for this? Again, it seems like I have several issues clumped together, brain fog, lack of focus, unclear/hazy thoughts, a big lack of verbal fluidity (I can never come up with words to express my thoughts fast enough.. sometimes it takes about a minute or so for a word to pop up), always lethargic/tired/lacking energy.. or lacking the "fire", if you will. Also anxiety seem to be a big problem for me when it comes to confronting anything of the slightest importance. Again, I have taken blood tests before.. general blood tests, and my readings have come out good in the past. No signs of inflamation. But I did have lower than recommended amount of cholesterol, but not by much.

Often people who take Ritalin and have negative side effects, have better results with dexamphetamines. Any psychiatrist who prescribed you Ritalin shouldn't have any issue changing your prescription to Dex. It's like trying different anti-depressants - some work, some don't. If you have depression as well some folks have had luck with Edronax (you'd have to look up your local brand name, I'm in Australia and it may have a different name where you are). Edronax is used as a stimulating antidepressant to combat fatigue associated with depression.

I got my prescription of Ritalin back home, but now that I've moved to the US, getting a prescription may not be feasible because I don;'t have insurance and I definitely can not yet afford the high cost of medical care in this country as a student.. so unfortunately I doubt I can get a prescription of Dex. Is Edronax script only?

#36 rwac Re: Hazy brain function, unclear thoughts, problems with focusing and depression

  • Location:Dimension X
  • yes

Posted 30 September 2012 - 09:11 PM

Sure, but any stimulant should increase blood sugar levels. And in the OP's case, I think it's more of an issue of responding optimally to the prescribed stimulant---and other modes of stimulation.


Of course the stimulant will increase blood sugar. However, if there isn't enough glucose/glycogen stored, the glucose is instead generated by increasing cortisol which is probably not that pleasant as the OP has noticed. The fix is to eat a few more carbs so the cortisol doesn't need to go so high.

#37 Templanoid Re: Hazy brain function, unclear thoughts, problems with focusing and depression

  • Location:California, USA

Posted 01 October 2012 - 07:59 AM

Hi again everyone.

So I've been reading further, and it seems like there are different opinions on what Choline source should be taking with Piracetam. Can anyone of you recommend anything based on the infromation I've posted about myself? Is Lecithin ok? Or should I take Choline Bitartrate, Alpha GPC, or something else?

#38 Tubemode Re: Hazy brain function, unclear thoughts, problems with focusing and depression

  • Location:The Stars

Posted 01 October 2012 - 05:28 PM

^

I don't mean to be dismissive but that issue has been discussed hundreds of times all over the internet.

#39 Rational Madman Re: Hazy brain function, unclear thoughts, problems with focusing and depression

  • Location:District of Columbia

Posted 01 October 2012 - 07:55 PM

^

I don't mean to be dismissive but that issue has been discussed hundreds of times all over the internet.

That should tell you that there isn't a definitive answer to the problem. Because really, there are dozens of possible causes that may be related or unrelated to the OP's complaint.

#40 Templanoid Re: Hazy brain function, unclear thoughts, problems with focusing and depression

  • Location:California, USA

Posted 02 October 2012 - 01:59 AM

Ok, I understand that it's been discussed a lot and there are varying opinions.. but is there some sort of a baseline? Is Lecithin the least likely to work? Or could it be as good as the other ones? Because I hear how Lecithin has low bio-availability?

#41 Templanoid Re: Hazy brain function, unclear thoughts, problems with focusing and depression

  • Location:California, USA

Posted 07 October 2012 - 05:52 AM

So today I took 2400mg of Lecithin (I've been taking 2 pills of lecithin, so i did the same) and 4 hours later i took 1600mg of Piracetam. It's been about almost 2 hours and I don't seem to have any negative effects. Should I continue at this dosage for the next couple of weeks? Or should I up my dosage of Piracetam?

#42 Tubemode Re: Hazy brain function, unclear thoughts, problems with focusing and depression

  • Location:The Stars

Posted 07 October 2012 - 11:50 AM

Seems good. I'd go up to 2,400.

#43 Templanoid Re: Hazy brain function, unclear thoughts, problems with focusing and depression

  • Location:California, USA

Posted 10 October 2012 - 03:37 AM

Ok I've upped my piracetam dosage to 2400mg, while also maintaining a Lecithin dosage of 2400mg. It's been 2 days now and I don't feel anything yet, maybe a very mild/almost unnoticeable headache. Should I change anything in my dosage?

#44 Templanoid Re: Hazy brain function, unclear thoughts, problems with focusing and depression

  • Location:California, USA

Posted 12 October 2012 - 09:49 AM

I'm still on 2400mg Lecithin and 2400mg Piracetam.. and still no effects whatsoever so far. ;( Anything else I should be trying or should I keep on with the regimen? It's been about a week now and I haven't felt anything... any ideas or comments?

#45 ryan474 Re: Hazy brain function, unclear thoughts, problems with focusing and depression

  • Location:IL

Posted 12 October 2012 - 11:29 AM

It sounds like the symptoms you describe are very similar to what I have experienced. I have worked tirelessly for 10+ years to relieve them, making substantial progress and still working on it. I'm 27 now, and went from a mental clarity, energy, and life quality of ~4/10 , to now about ~8/10 on average.

There are a large number of different things that have helped me and that continue to be a critical part of my daily regimen. Ultimately I just had to read everything I could get my hands on (forums like this included).. then patiently try each promising thing and evaluate the outcome. You will eventually succeed if you are patient, persistent, and careful.

Without time to post all of the things that are critical to my successful reduction in 'brain fog' and dullness.. i'll provide a few links and a few ideas to start with here..

Whats your sleep schedule like? What time range do you go to bed and wake?
What do you feel like after a night of full or partial sleep deprivation? Here is one of my threads on Wake therapy + Light Therapy, which is one of the most powerful means i've ever come across for relief of my dullness, fatigue, dysthymia: http://www.addforums...ad.php?t=117934
Like any remedy/drug/supplement you might try, not everyone is a "responder" to it. For those who are responders, it still may require some tweaking as to how to make it work for them.

From a broad perspective, much of my relief has come from exploring and trying things related to:
- CFS/CFIDS
- Including thyroid and testosterone issues, not originally detected by blood tests
- ADHD (inattentive type) . AKA "slow cognitive tempo" or SCT.. see the adhd forums
- Depression & Seasonal Affective Disorder
- Gluten Intolerance and many other food allergies & sensitivities/intolerance. And importantly, restricting fats and carbs, even "healthy ones".

After a base of a good quality multivitamin, some of the more powerful among cognitive enhancing nootropics, drugs, etc for me have been:
- High dose b12 -methylcobalimin (sublingual or injectable). Sublingual is a good starting point. B12 is perhaps one of the few things that is nearly universally well tolerated that can be started right away with nearly zero risk and a very good upside potential with the symptoms you describe. A previous poster said to take folic acid, which I agree with - but for me there is a thresshold where taking more than 50% to 100% of the daily value ends up making me too spacy and does not allow my brain to engage. Any form of folate and many of the methyl donors in general require a tricky balance for me.
- ALC in micro-doses
- Ribose
- Omega 3
Here is some more from an older post of mine but still relevant: http://www.addforums...05&postcount=60

- Deprenyl
- Adderall & Ritalin
- Diflucan & Nystatin (antifungal- which produce initial 'die off' type reaction and then huge improvement in clarity for me)



You also mentioned anxiety, for which there are probably hundreds of viable options. The most profound in my case has been integrating the ideas from Eckhart Tolle's Books "The Power of Now", and "A New Earth". That, plus a lot of different supplements and some meds.

Edited by ryan474, 12 October 2012 - 11:42 AM.


#46 Templanoid Re: Hazy brain function, unclear thoughts, problems with focusing and depression

  • Location:California, USA

Posted 14 October 2012 - 12:24 AM

Hey Ryan, thanks for the response. So I usually get about 5-7 hours of sleep, depending on the day, it can vary quite a bit. Usually in the mornings I wake up pretty groggy. Generally, I go to bed pretty late around 3 or 4 AM, and I get up at about 11.30 AM.

But recently I've noticed that, due to taking Bacopa.. I've been having a different effect: My sleeps seem really deep, and I wake up immediately fresh and I don't feel groggy, even if I din't get a lot of sleep. The other effect I've been getting from Bacopa is that I've been waking up even before my alarm rings, much earlier in the morning, it's a little strange feeling. Overall it seems to have a nice effect and my brain seems more refreshed from the better sleep - definitely has some nice noticeable, subtle effects.

What's ALC?

Currently, I'm taking the following:
Lecithin: 2x 1200mg softgels in the morning
Fish oil: 2x 1000mb softgels in the morning
Vitamin B complex: 1 pill
Bacopa Monnieri (45% bacosides from Swanson): 2x 250mb capsules - one in the morning and one before sleep
Piracetam: 3x 800mg pills (2400mg altogether) 4 hours after taking Lecithin.

I've also started taking some ALCAR, but so far I've seen no effects from it so far: I've taken 400mg and 800mg and haven't experienced any effects. I just took in 1200mg about 20 minutes ago, will see how I feel.

Also, I have a question: Should I be taking these aforementioned items with food or without food on an empty stomach?

Thanks.

#47 Templanoid Re: Hazy brain function, unclear thoughts, problems with focusing and depression

  • Location:California, USA

Posted 17 October 2012 - 03:09 AM

Anyone? Can someone please respond? I'm trying to stick to this regimen.

I've been taking Piracetam pills for about a week and a half now and I haven't felt anything yet.

Currently I take:
Lecithin: 2x 1200mg softgels in the morning
Fish oil: 2x 1000mb softgels in the morning
Vitamin B complex: 1 pill
Bacopa: 2x 250mb capsules - one in the morning and one before sleep
Piracetam: 3x 800mg pills (2400mg altogether) 4 hours after taking Lecithin.


Should I increase or decrease my Piracetam intake? Or increase/change my source of choline?

#48 Spectre Re: Hazy brain function, unclear thoughts, problems with focusing and depression

  • Location:USA
  • yes

Posted 17 October 2012 - 09:31 PM

You could try to get a prescription to buprenorphine, a kappa-opioid receptor antagonist. This drug was a miracle and changed my life, in my experience, it completely put all of the symptoms you describe into remission. Have you ever taken narcotic painkillers? They have triggered all the same effects described in your post in me. I'm not a doctor though so don't take it as professional medical advice, I just believe your problem is definitely dopamine-related, and kappa receptor activation is linked with dopamine dysregulation in the brain (therefore causing unclear thinking, depression, low energy levels, etc).

#49 Templanoid Re: Hazy brain function, unclear thoughts, problems with focusing and depression

  • Location:California, USA

Posted 18 October 2012 - 06:35 AM

You could try to get a prescription to buprenorphine, a kappa-opioid receptor antagonist. This drug was a miracle and changed my life, in my experience, it completely put all of the symptoms you describe into remission. Have you ever taken narcotic painkillers? They have triggered all the same effects described in your post in me. I'm not a doctor though so don't take it as professional medical advice, I just believe your problem is definitely dopamine-related, and kappa receptor activation is linked with dopamine dysregulation in the brain (therefore causing unclear thinking, depression, low energy levels, etc).

You're the second person recently to tell me that my problem is dopamine related, and after some reading it seems that this is very possibly the case. Unfortunately, I live in the US right now as an international student and I don't have access to insurance that will cover costs or anything.. so I am not even sure about the possiblity of getting a prescription for buprenorphine... I could walk in and ask a doctor, but that might cost a lot of money itself.



Also, Do you know any other alternatives? I have heard people telling me about how Sulbutiamine could work for me, do you have any information regarding this?

If anyone else knows about dopamine dis-regulation and how it might be my problem, or what kind of things could resolve the problem, I'd really appreciate it as I really want to make things better.

Edited by Templanoid, 18 October 2012 - 06:39 AM.


#50 Spectre Re: Hazy brain function, unclear thoughts, problems with focusing and depression

  • Location:USA
  • yes

Posted 19 October 2012 - 09:24 AM


You could try to get a prescription to buprenorphine, a kappa-opioid receptor antagonist. This drug was a miracle and changed my life, in my experience, it completely put all of the symptoms you describe into remission. Have you ever taken narcotic painkillers? They have triggered all the same effects described in your post in me. I'm not a doctor though so don't take it as professional medical advice, I just believe your problem is definitely dopamine-related, and kappa receptor activation is linked with dopamine dysregulation in the brain (therefore causing unclear thinking, depression, low energy levels, etc).

You're the second person recently to tell me that my problem is dopamine related, and after some reading it seems that this is very possibly the case. Unfortunately, I live in the US right now as an international student and I don't have access to insurance that will cover costs or anything.. so I am not even sure about the possiblity of getting a prescription for buprenorphine... I could walk in and ask a doctor, but that might cost a lot of money itself.



Also, Do you know any other alternatives? I have heard people telling me about how Sulbutiamine could work for me, do you have any information regarding this?

If anyone else knows about dopamine dis-regulation and how it might be my problem, or what kind of things could resolve the problem, I'd really appreciate it as I really want to make things better.


You can get a script to pure buprenorphine for pain, any doctor can prescribe it (unlike suboxone which is prescribed only in addiction clinics)..however, I wouldn't know the easiest way to obtain this legally with little to no cost..it's still a scheduled substance. I'm in a tight financial situation myself so I understand where you're coming from completely, but if your problem is indeed related to dopamine-dysregulation and the kappa receptors, then buprenorphine is your best bet, insurance or not..the amount of relief you'll acquire from bupe will blow your mind and be well worth the money. If you want some over the counter alternatives, you could look into this cocktail, it helped with my energy levels as well:

- DLPA (dl-phenylalanine): precursor to norepinephrine and dopamine.
- Sulbutiamine
- Vitamin B complex
- Deprenyl (script only but unscheduled, so you can legally purchase online from various sources).
- Cod liver oil/omega 3's

In my experience, DLPA has been the most effective health supplement to counter-act dopamine-linked depression and fatigue. Sulbutiamine is very effective as well but has varied effects in people. It can trigger overstimulation and acute hypomania in some individuals.

Edited by Spectre, 19 October 2012 - 09:25 AM.


#51 Templanoid Re: Hazy brain function, unclear thoughts, problems with focusing and depression

  • Location:California, USA

Posted 22 October 2012 - 07:14 AM

Thanks, Spectre. It's hard to say whether my symptoms are related to dopamine-dysregulation and the kappa receptors (unless someone can give me expert opinion), but for now I will try to stick to things that don't require a script.. it would be way too expensive. I will look into DLPA and Sulbutiamine. I'm already taking Multivitamins, Fish Oil, Lecithin and Bacopa. Bacopa seems to have the most apparent effects of all.

Also, recently I got a bottle of the 'Opti-Men' multivitamin, which is supposed to be one of the more potent types out there, and I've noticed that I feel that my brain feels a little "floaty" or "spacey". Anyone have any clue as to what I'm describing?

#52 ryan474 Re: Hazy brain function, unclear thoughts, problems with focusing and depression

  • Location:IL

Posted 22 October 2012 - 12:39 PM

Thanks, Spectre. It's hard to say whether my symptoms are related to dopamine-dysregulation and the kappa receptors (unless someone can give me expert opinion), but for now I will try to stick to things that don't require a script.. it would be way too expensive. I will look into DLPA and Sulbutiamine. I'm already taking Multivitamins, Fish Oil, Lecithin and Bacopa. Bacopa seems to have the most apparent effects of all.

Also, recently I got a bottle of the 'Opti-Men' multivitamin, which is supposed to be one of the more potent types out there, and I've noticed that I feel that my brain feels a little "floaty" or "spacey". Anyone have any clue as to what I'm describing?


I see that multivitamin has a little of everything, including all sorts of things you probably do not need. In that combination, it will be impossible to determine what was causing the spaci feelings.
If you noticed becoming particularly floaty or spacey after taking it, then I would stop taking it and switch to something that is more basic, and stripped down.
I.e. I take a twinlab B-50, and then individual C,D,E, and individual minerals. Plus some other supplements that I introduced one at a time and which I know do not individually cause issues.

I started by taking "multi" combinations like that, but got similar reactions. I do have a lot of allergies and intolerance to many different substances, foods, supplements, etc. I'm guessing that was part of the problem in my reactions. So my approach was to switch to taking only the basic vitamin and mineral supplements, and taking them in the most hypoallergenic form I could find. I.e. Twinlab brand. Or any brand which explicitly stated it was free of all of the things I could potentially react to.
I went as far as ensuring it was not derived from a allergenic source-- such as corn, soy, etc. I.e. Vitamin C from about any manufacturer was giving me headaches. My integrative MD asked if I checked the source, and if it was from corn--that was probably the reason. Since most vitamin C is derived from corn, and corn gives me headaches. So I switched to a tapioca source and headaches gone.

As for the particular feeling of being spacy, floaty, or otherwise brain fogged, disengaged, unfocused, etc.. I identified a few culprits for MY case, fwiw.
- folic acid, taking too much i.e. > 400mcg per day. (mood good, but unable to focus or think analytically. prob a lot of folic in my diet as well).
- lecithin (soy source, i'm very allergic to soy).
- too much b3 on its own or in ratio to other b vitamins
- dozens of other things

#53 Reborn Re: Hazy brain function, unclear thoughts, problems with focusing and depression

  • Location:US

Posted 24 October 2012 - 12:34 AM

Templanoid (and Ryan),

Your symptoms sound remarkably similar to mine before I found a solution. The good news is that, starting 10 days ago, all my symptoms have gone away (brain fog, difficulty expressing thoughts, slow conversational responses, inability to focus/concentrate, lack of sleep, fatigue, lethargy).

After just one day on phosphatidylserine (PS), I was asymptomatic. Frankly, I was astounded and completely ecstatic.

PS's monograph is impressive and I would strongly recommend that you read it. http://www.thorne.co...xt/13/3/245.pdf

In clinical studies, PS supplementation has shown statistically significant indications of the following benefits (among others):

- Modulates/lowers cortisol (which, at elevated levels, can cause fatigue, lack of concentration, impaired working memory, and insomnia).
- Releases dopamine
- Improves ADHD symptoms
- Improves depressive symptoms

One interesting study (among many) found that, "PS supplementation significantly reduced the time needed for a correct calculation on the SST by 20% (reduced by 1.27 s per calculation; PL: 6.4 s, PS: 5.13 s; p = 0.001), and reduced the total amount of errors by 39% (PL: 1.28 + .69, PS: .78 + .27, p = 0.53), and increased the amount of correct calculations by 13%..." http://www.ncbi.nlm....pubmed/22017963

Prior to taking PS (especially when I felt under the slightest bit of stress), I could hardly leave the apartment. Now, I am up at 6:00 am and can be productive all day, exercise, or go out socially in the evenings with ease. Frankly, it just made me feel normal (which is fantastic). The best part may be regaining my ability to concentrate/focus, which is critical in my line of work. I am certainly quicker conversationally and with calculations as well as semi-technical writing. The other unexpected effect is that I feel more social. I have a working theory as to why PS worked for my symptoms, but for the sake of brevity, I will skip this for now.

A couple minor words of caution: I am sleeping about 6.5 hours on PS but feel alert and refreshed within 15 minutes of waking up. I am still tinkering with the dosages (currently taking 300 mg early in the morning with food and then 150 mgs around midday) and may cut back a bit. Also, I have only tried the GNC brand of PS (which worked great obviously); however, it is a bit expensive ($39 for 30 tablets). In theory, other brands, most of which are less expensive, also should work but I cannot vouch for that yet. Lastly, with only 10 days of benefits, I cannot guarantee that it is a permanent solution; however, all indications are positive.

I would highly recommend you give it a try and report back if it works for you. It changed my life.

I wish you the very best of luck!

#54 ryan474 Re: Hazy brain function, unclear thoughts, problems with focusing and depression

  • Location:IL

Posted 24 October 2012 - 01:18 AM

Reborn,
Thanks for sharing your experience. I am very interested to follow your progress!

I'll have to look into phosphatidylserine again.. your mention of it is fascinating, since I have chronically high cortisol (from multiple 24-hour urinary cortisol tests over about 3 years). For years I have tried things to lower cortisol (and "stress" in general), with some success. My mental clarity, energy, sleep etc did often improve when I combined cortisol and stress lowering 'remedies'. Perhaps there was a direct correlation there which I never realized until now. I'll have to think about this and explore further.

In particular, the most dramatic improvement in clarity, energy, social abilities, sleep, etc-- came from getting a professional massage. It was and still is instantaneous relief of about 70% of the symptoms, and lasts 1 to 3 days. Cortisol reduction seems to be a likely mechanism (although there are many other potential mechanisms or a combination of them at play).

Other than that, i'm assuming the periods when i showed better cortisol control it was from my regular use of b-vitamins, calming supplements like theanine, passionflower, etc -- and getting good solid sleep, proper thyroid (t3 in form of cytomel) dosage, balanced exercise routine, meditation, and other things. Notably, ashwagandha did not work for me and was counterproductive because it made me even more foggy/ 'dumb', even in small doses I remember reading someone else in longecity forums mentioning ashwagandha made him anhedonic, which is one way to describe my experience.

Although I remember reading phosphatidylserine is one of only a handfull of cortisol-lowering supplements available, for some reason decided not to try it. Perhaps i couldn' find any soy-free or non-soy derived sources, or maybe I wasn't convinced it was worthwhile, and then forgot about it. I"ll check out your linked article.

Templanoid, perhaps it would make sense to test your cortisol (salivary 24 hour or urinary) if you have the opportunity to do so? Any signs/Sx to suggest you have high cortisol?

#55 Reborn Re: Hazy brain function, unclear thoughts, problems with focusing and depression

  • Location:US

Posted 24 October 2012 - 01:57 AM

Ryan,

Given that you have high cortisol, PS is even more likely to help. The hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA axis), which produces cortisol, can overproduce for many reasons. Phosphatidylserine does "block" cortisol; however, it appears to directly regulate the HPA axis as well.

By the way, my mother has similar symptoms has been trying PS at low doses for 3 days and has reported similar benefits (although the magnitude of the benefits seem to be less). There may be a genetic component in my case.

Regarding supplementation, I would recommend that you take only PS and a B-complex at first (on a full stomach). Take nothing else. This is because, based on experience, some supplements actually aggravate my symptoms. If (hopefully when) you establish that PS works for you, then you can consider adding other supplements.

Edited by Reborn, 24 October 2012 - 01:58 AM.


#56 Templanoid Re: Hazy brain function, unclear thoughts, problems with focusing and depression

  • Location:California, USA

Posted 24 October 2012 - 08:31 AM

Reborn,
Thanks for sharing! That looks really interesting and has gotten me excited (dopamine release from reading your post, for sure!). As soon as I read your post, I decided to check at the local pharmacy (Walgreens) and sadly they did not have PS.

I wonder though, how pronounced were the effects? Perhaps your symptoms prior to PS dosage were not as much as mine? I'm not sure, but after having taken Lecithin, Bacopa, Piracetam, ALCAR, and having no noticeable effect I'm wondering if anything that isn't a direct stimulant will help me. My symptoms seem moderately severe and the mental sharpness is really lacking.

Also, I got back and decided to look up more info about PS, and I found some interesting threads here on Longecity:I am going to try and find good source for PS online and see what I can get. I want to try the one by GNC as you mentioned, but it might be too expensive for me.. at the same time I don't want to buy a product that does not work.

Is this the product you bought from GNC? http://www.gnc.com/p...oductId=2133471

Ryan474,
I've had blood tests done at a clinic a few months ago and the doctor told me my Cortisol (along with most other things) levels were just normal. I'm not aware of symptoms that I might have high cortisol levels apart from the things I have already mentioned, but they might not even be symptoms of high cortisol.

Regarding my earlier post of feeling spacey - so I guess that might have been an isolated incident. I've been taking the same Opti-Men multivitamins (along with lecithin, fish oil, Bacopa and 2400mg of Piracetam) everyday since then, and I don't feel any negative effects. But I don't feel much of an improvement either.

Edited by Templanoid, 24 October 2012 - 09:10 AM.


#57 Tubemode Re: Hazy brain function, unclear thoughts, problems with focusing and depression

  • Location:The Stars

Posted 24 October 2012 - 09:21 AM

If you are worried about your cortisol levels and cannot find any phosphatidylserine to boot, then might I recommend Lean Xtreme by Driven Sports. The supplement is a potent cortisol inhibitor.

The general consensus surrounding D-Serine is that the compound is bunk. Serine is essentially just a co-agonist at the NMDA receptor site. Sarcosine and Glycine also fill this role quite well. It is not a stimulant.

I don't know Templanoid, you characterize yourself as a foggy headed individual, but reading your opening post seems to say otherwise. Might you simply not be used to interacting with people?

Be careful not to mistake plain social anxiety with that of a physiological issue.

#58 Templanoid Re: Hazy brain function, unclear thoughts, problems with focusing and depression

  • Location:California, USA

Posted 24 October 2012 - 09:51 AM

Tubermode,
It might be true that I'm not extremely brainfogged - the initial post is of a linear nature when I tend to handle better given a lot of time (and writing the post up was quite a bit of work). But I definitely show some pretty obvious signs of difficulty expressing thoughts, slow conversational responses, inability to focus/concentrate. It's not only with people in social situations - the same thing happens to me even if I chat away on the internet. I do have social anxiety issues, but I believe they mostly stem from the symptoms I just stated. I often respond with an 'ok' or a forced, unnatural laughter when someone makes a comment, statment or a joke, because I'm failing to be able to think of any responses. Again, this happens in all aspects of my life, not just when I'm out socializing, but at work, while doing assignments, etc.


I've been reading some more all this while and I've come across interesting things. What do you guys feel about Picamilon, Pyritinol and Sulbutamine for my symptoms? Anyone of you tried these?

Edited by Templanoid, 24 October 2012 - 10:50 AM.


#59 Reborn Re: Hazy brain function, unclear thoughts, problems with focusing and depression

  • Location:US

Posted 24 October 2012 - 11:00 AM

Templanoid,

Thanks for the feedback. Your symptoms are hauntingly similar to mine. I have experienced every symptom that you described.

Regarding my symptoms, I would characterize them as moderate to severe although I worked extremely hard to disguise my deficiencies to others. I could barely focus on watching the news or reading a book or listening to someone in a conversation. By brain would constantly "trip offline" and my internal dialogue would constantly be saying, "refocus...refocus". My conversational responses would be sluggish and a bit forced. My retention of information was in the toilet and I would have to reread everything. Writing an e-mail quickly was nearly impossible. Daily functions were also quite exhausting: shopping, getting the car fixed, cleaning my apartment, paying bills, etc. and many tasks would simply go undone. All the symptoms above have simply evaporated (thankfully!) although my kitchen could use a bit of work :).

I am fairly certain that my working memory was significantly impaired. Does this sound like you from a cognition standpoint? http://en.wikipedia....ry_in_the_brain. Studies have shown a clear link between PS and working memory, which in part drove me to try the supplement.

Here is the product that I took. http://www.gnc.com/p...oductId=3172621. It is very similar to what you provided as a link but I am taking the 300 mg version. Also, I received a shipment of NOW brand PS from amazon yesterday. I wasn't planning on taking it (because the GNC version was working so well); however, for the sake of experimentation, I will take it today and report back within 24 hours. My mom was also using the NOW brand and has reported some benefits.

Based on studies and feedback from users, PS does help a subset of the population (though not everyone of course). However, you and I may not have the same condition, just very similar symptoms. Of course, I cannot promise in any way that PS will work for you. However, I think that it is worth a shot. Also, based on symptoms exhibited by a portion of my family and PS's effects on my mom, I strongly suspect that there is a genetic component in my case. My theory (which seems plausible based on at least one study) is that my body has little to no ability to convert PS from other phospholipid components such as phosphatidylethanolamine. If true, I don't know how rare of a condition that is and whether you have the same condition (just trying to lay all cards on the table).

Tubermode,

What reference(s) do you have showing that the general consensus on PS is that it is "bunk"? PS is ubiquitous phospholipid found in the brain and spinal cord tissue that is essential for proper functioning. If you don't have enough (either through intake, synthesis, or enzymatic conversion), you are certainly in trouble. Also, if you search pubmed.gov, there are many studies that conclude that PS is effective for a range of symptoms: http://www.ncbi.nlm....SPHATIDYLSERINE.

Also, the FDA, which is very cautious about supporting clinical trial conclusions, has released two qualified health claim statements on PS (may reduce risk of dementia; may reduce risk of cognitive decline).
http://www.fda.gov/F...s/ucm072999.htm. You can also find posters on other online forums that have had similar results as mine.

Good luck to all.

Edited by Reborn, 24 October 2012 - 11:30 AM.


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#60 Tubemode Re: Hazy brain function, unclear thoughts, problems with focusing and depression

  • Location:The Stars

Posted 24 October 2012 - 09:17 PM

I said D-SERINE was bunk. Not Phosphatidylserine.

The latter phospholipid is an essential component of cell membranes. It is also involved in cell signaling.

You are however, overstating the merit of the aforementioned supplement within the context of neural functioning. Apart from the pre-supposed drop in cortisol brought upon by it's consumption, the main mechanism of action by which it improves cognitive functioning is through the provision of Serine which serves as a co-factor in the agonism of NMDA receptors, in concert with that of Glutamate.

By the way, the FDA study you posted? Probably didn't read it:

We have considered the scientific evidence submitted with your petition and, as appropriate, have also considered other pertinent scientific evidence. Our conclusion is that there is not significant scientific agreement that phosphatidylserine may reduce the risk of dementia or cognitive dysfunction in the elderly. However, the science provides very limited and preliminary evidence for qualified health claims about these relationships. Because such claims would be potentially misleading, however, they must be qualified so as not to mislead consumers. Thus, FDA proposed disclaimers to accompany your proposed claims. After a change made during negotiations regarding disclaimer wording, the qualified claims that you agreed to on behalf of your client are:


Edited by Tubemode, 24 October 2012 - 09:18 PM.





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