So...I've decided that I prefer cooperation/collaboration to competition. Life's just better that way. With that in mind I want to share with you some of my brain enhancement attempts as well as future experiments and ideas that I am pursuing. I've benefited immensely from reading countless others and I hope to contribute a little.
I also hope to get feedback from you guys and, hopefully, to get some of you experiment along with me in reasonable directions. Please forgive me if a lot of my ideas have been mentioned before...I'm sure they have. However, you might find a few things here to try out. Obviously, good diet, exercise, and sleep are givens. Alright, here go my ramblings...I'll try to at least mention a few studies here and there that you can google or research in pubmed but I'm going off the top of my head so be nice. :)
Pharmaceuticals--Modafinil, Ritalin, Adderall
Winner--Modafinil is my favorite noot overall. Enhances mood, working memory, and wakefulness for me. No tolerance in my case. Taken daily for 8 months, 200mg in morning. Long-term risk is unknown so use at your own discretion. Most people cycle, I've found no need so far but I will soon. No angry flaming rants, please. :)
Best Virtually Unknown Noot--Lasers, low-level laser therapy, led therapy, infrared therapy
Comments--I can't believe that everybody is not using this like crazy. It is awesome but hardly anyone mentions it. It is dose dependent and wavelength dependent. Please do your research before using. Look up the work of Karu, Hode, and Hamblin. Check out recent studies done at UT Austin (2013), Harvard, and MIT (2009). I use 808nm wavelength light to my forehead at 200 mW...it's called the Vetrolaser, and yes, it's for horses with tendon problems. ha I've also used the 660nm Tendlite with awesome results but 808 is my favorite. It increases mitchondrial function by adding energy at the cytochrome C oxidase receptor. I can study 14 hours per day without getting tired. Can't believe that more people don't rave about this. Has massively enhanced the lives of head injury and stroke victims. Highly recommended, very safe (wear goggles please!)
Comments--Neurosteroids are a fascinating new (relatively) brain enhancement area. Pregnenolone is freaking magic for me. Older studies have shown safety at over 500mg per day but most of the time 50 will do. Everybody please practice minimum effective dosing! Megadosing is almost always ill advised. My principle is this: All is goldilocks. Not too hot, not too cold...just right. I realize this principle is mentioned ad nauseum in modern popular science writing so please forgive me. If I read another popular article about quantum physics that quotes Einstein's 'spooky action at a distance' or another neuroscience book that mentions Phineas Gage then I am going to punch a koala. Seriously. ha
Epigenetic enhancement--Sodium Butyrate, Trichostatin A, SAHA
Comments--Sodium butyrate has been excellent for me so far. Epigenetics is about to change the world so please get on board if you are not already. It involves changing in gene 'expression' without changing the underlying DNA and is ridiculously easy to do compared to gene splicing, etc. You can also increase your body's natural sodium butyrate production by eating fiber. The fiber causes your gut bacteria to release sodium butyrate with is an HDAC2 inhibitor which has been shown to massively increase learning and intelligence (mostly in rodents so far though). Check out the work of the Picower Institute http://picower.mit.edu/ for more. NaB does have other effects besides impacting brain function so be careful.
Electricity--tDCS + D-cycloserine
Comments--repeated studies have shown that taking D-cycloserine 2 hours before doing tDCS causes the typical 1 hour after effects of tDCS to last for over 24 hours! Yup, that's real. This has been tested and verified in humans but, amazingly, I haven't seen any biohackers try it yet. I have a major concern about excitotoxicity on this one but I am ridiculously intrigued. Could I learn an entire semester's worth of info in a weekend? Maybe. Most of the testing has been done in the motor cortex, but I see no reason this wouldn't work in the dlpfc. Anybody tried this? I have my tDCS and a 10 pack of D-CYC in front of me but this is crazy risky. D-CYC has serious side effect potential and 24 hours of anodal excitability could very possibly fry one's brain. Not gonna try it without A LOT more knowledge. Ideas? Experiences? Would love some feedback on this intriguing idea.
Oxygen--Oxygen concentrator, Scuba gear, etc.
Comments--100% oxygen breathed for 3 minutes has been shown to increase oxygen blood levels and greatly increase learning...especially memorization and reaction time. Studies have also shown that 30% and 40% work as well. It seems that the dangers of oxygen mostly occur when someone breathes it for a much greater time than this. I really want to try this and will very soon. Any experiences from anybody here? I do worry about damage so feedback there would be greatly appreciated.
Neuropeptides--very fascinating. Little real data yet. Will keep watching.
Coffee--Bulletproof Coffee, coffee + grass-fed butter + MCT oil
Comments--have been drinking this for over a year now with very good results. Check out Dave Asprey's blog for an absurd amount of detail and experimentation with this coffee as well as brain enhancement in general. Overall, the guy is a must read. And btw, I have no affiliation with anybody or any product of any kind.
Comments--read a recent study showing that this improves memory if taken right before bed. Anybody try this? Very interesting but I've heard bad things about valporic acid. Would love some feedback here.
Typical noots I've tried that did nothing for me...choline, racetams (pretty much all of them that are currently available), sunifiram, bacopa, binarual beats/isochronic beats
More future experiements--external trigeminal nerve stimulation (the first method of deep brain stimulation available without surgery, used for epilepsy patients, mostly while sleeping), CES stimulation for sleep consolidation, D-serine (has worked a little for me so far, but not great, more research needed), Nicotene (tried the gum, seems more like a temporary stim to be used very occasionally, more research), HeartMath heart rate variability training (good so far but nothing amazing, small addition to meditation at best), Dual n-back (pretty good, seems overhyped, done for 3 years, not very transferable imo, more research needed)
Alright, those are some of my preliminary thoughts. Please comment and make suggestions if you have any insights. I know that I have left out an insane number of things. Please be nice. :) This is all anecdotal and just one person's VERY limited experience and opinion. Please experiment with some of these if you are so inclined and let me know how it goes for you. I'm hoping we can continue this process of learning and growing as a group. Information wants to be free.
Edited by lostfalco, 21 December 2013 - 03:47 AM.