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My ADD Stack in Development

add adhd sct stack fog anxiety concentration motivation

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#1 GetOutOfBox

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 08:09 PM


I'm posting here to both document my progress building the right stack for my ADD (aka ADHD Predominantly-Inattentive/Sluggish Cognitive Tempo), as well as take suggestions from people that suffer from similar issues.

So first of all, a little introduction to my particular issues and goals. I'm 18 years old, male, with a family history of thyroid issues (both paternal and maternal, one great-grandmother had Graves Disease), though I have a "normal" TSH (2.5ish). A lot of my symptoms can be chalked up to Hyperthyroidism, so I plan to keep an eye on that TSH. So here are the problems I've been having, and I've had them since I was "diagnosed" with ADD when I was around 13 years old:

-Huge motivation problems. It's hard to describe, but it's like there's this mental block in my head when it comes to doing anything that involves concentration, at least most of the time (sometimes I have bursts of productivity, though they're short lived and infrequent). This applies to everything, not just schoolwork, but my own hobbies (programming, music production, etc). I love them, and I want to develop them, but yet I find that getting started is incredibly difficult, like I'm dragging my head through mud. It's not so much that concentration exhausts me, since once I get going I tend to do alright. It's that I feel little to no motivation. It's not that I'm distracted by things like games, I just don't feel like concentrating. I used to think this was laziness, and maybe it partly is. However, talking to a close friend of mine, who can be lazy too when it comes to schoolwork, I realized that it's not normal to feel so amotivated about everything. He at least enjoys his own hobbies, as do my other friends.


-Brain fog. This I can fight, but again, it requires effort. My learning often seems impeded by sluggish thinking when it comes to things I'm not interested in, however this is not global. When I feel empassioned by something, I leap from topic to topic, just sucking up information, making connections. But it even affects things I'm interested in sometimes.


-Social anxiety. This area is a tricky one, and I've only recently noticed that it was anxiety I'm feeling. I don't have panic attacks per se, but I notice that when meeting new people, I sometimes have a very "bad" feeling in my chest, it's not exactly outright fear, but just a profound feeling of stress or tension. It doesn't cause me to break, but when I'm situations where I don't feel entirely safe around people, I have to frequently excuse myself to find somewhere secluded and just relax. However, I don't feel this around people I know well. I think this is mostly psychological, I may visit a therapist to help with it.


-General anxiety. This component seems to be more biological than psychological. I've begun to notice that I seem to have an inappropriate response to stress, but not due to any psychological problems I'm aware of. I'm very self-aware, and deal with my problems rather than repressing them. I usually find positive solutions to my problems (i.e avoiding hating people who irritate me, rather forgiving them and letting the feeling go), but it's like the actual emotion of stress is disregulated. I often feel an exaggerated response to stress, though I can control it, it's still there. For example, I notice that very strenuous exercise seems to induce mounting rage, not to the point that I can't control it, but to the point where I want to just smash something. It's very odd, personality wise I'm a very calm and quiet, the feelings definitely don't correspond with my intellectual state.


-Trouble learning. In some ways, I believe I'm very good at understanding things, I just love reading through Wikipedia, digesting various Physics/Science topics, yet I've noticed that every now and then I encounter "blocks", where I can seemingly comprehend the source (be it a teacher, or book, or website), yet I don't seem to really understand it. It's an odd sensation. I know what the book says, I can comprehend the instructions, yet when it comes to actually applying them myself, I just get stuck. I have no idea what to do or where to start. So I go back, re-read it, or look it up online. Yet still, I just don't know what to do. Finally, it seems to sink in, but after taking much longer than other people. It's more than just not understanding the information, since sometimes it's seemingly easy. I find that when I'm under stress (and not normal stress, but the stressors I outlined in the previous paragraph), it's exponentially worse. This part is not terribly crippling, but I've noticed that it seems to be a bottleneck when it comes to my ability to learn.


My hypothesis for all of these problems is a combination of factors: Poor sleep, both in duration, and timing, ever since I was about 12. Regular caffeine use, and moderate levels, for years as well. Possible deficiencies, though my diet is pretty good. I've done a lot of research here at longecity, and via Google, and have built a starter stack, that I plan to make some additions to when I can afford them:

Oxiracetam, 800 mg in the morning, then 800 mg in the afternoon (about 7 hours later)
Alpha-GPC, 1 g with each dose of Oxiracetam (1 g twice daily)
ALCAR 500 mg with every Oxiracetam dose (twice daily)
Thiamine (Vitamin B1) once at lunch
Vitamin B12 once at lunch.
Calcium+Magnesium+Zinc combo supplement, once at 6PM

And I'd like to add the following ASAP, due to a remarkable study you can read here which found that supplementing neurotransmitter precursors had a profound improvement on the majority of the subjects:

150 mg 5-HTP in the morning and again in the afternoon.
1100 mg L-Tyrosine same as above

and also add Uridine, as well as trying the CILTEP stack.
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#2 GetOutOfBox

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 08:18 PM

This has been the second day I've been on the primary stack, and I've noticed a subtle improvement. For one, the brain-fog has been largely eliminated, though the motivation issues remain. I also noticed some interesting side-effects, most notably that music just sounded remarkable. It's hard to describe, but it sounded subtly clearer, more liquid. I also noticed that red seemed more vivid, but not in any particularly good or bad way, and it may have just been psychosomatic.

I've been improving my sleep, which has helped with my mood a lot. I forgot to mention, but I tend to suffer from ups and downs, not crazy enough to be bipolar, but just fluctuations. Improving my sleep seems to have made me more level, less prone to crashing. I've also removed caffeine from my diet, which I plan to keep up for a month, and then I'll consider using it as needed. However I'd like to avoid consuming it daily, since I found that I developed a tolerance quickly, and began crashing in-between consumption. I'm currently taking Adderall (20mg extended release, in the morning) which I intend to stop using after my exams. I'm going to take a 1-2 month holiday from it, as it's currently doing nothing. After that holiday, I intend to only use it as needed, as I am functional without once the withdrawal effects clear (though it does help greatly, or at least it did).

The Tyrosine/5-HTP are in the mail, I may get them tomorrow. I am aware of the risks of 5-HTP, I intend to only use low-dosages, and I will see if I can do without it. I just want to match the studies methods to see if I can replicate the same success. The studies followed the subjects over a period of 6-8 weeks, so I don't expect dramatic effects suddenly. It may help counteract depleted neurotransmitters, perhaps as a result of a metabolic issue, or malabsorption.

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#3 GetOutOfBox

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 04:12 AM

Well, I've been on the Tyrosine and 5-HTP for 2 days, and I think I've noticed a major improvment, not a placebo-like one, but a subtle effect. The first day, I didn't really feel different, but that's too be expected, since the process of digesting and metabolizing the amino-acids to neurotransmitters may have taken hours, especially if I was mildly deficient. The second day however, I noticed that concentrating was easier for me. It's not that I felt inherently more motivated, but that I found doing less-interesting things easier. As in, I could easily focus on my schoolwork. Normally I have trouble with any sort of mental work, it doesn't feel very rewarding, but during the second day, it was like I felt satisfied doing work. Which is how I imagine most people feel doing work. I acknowledge it may still just be the placebo effect, but the study that inspired me to do this seemed pretty tight to me, double-blind, placebo groups, some with stimulants some without.

I took the ALCAR out, since I think it was making me tired, and halved the amount of Alpha-GPC I was taking. It seemed that I was overloading myself with choline, since I started getting some painful muscle spasms in my back, as well as a foggy, depressed feeling near the end of the night. Taking the ALCAR out and cutting the GPC in half immidietly solved the problem though. I may try re-introducing the ALCAR, either taking a tiny dose every day, or taking it ever other day.

For the record my stack is the following right now:

800mg Oxiracetam twice daily.
500 mg Alpha-GPC twice daily, with the Oxi.
1500 mg L-Tyrosine, twice daily
500 mg L-Glutamine once daily
Magnesium+Zinc+Calcium combo supplement, once daily
Vitamin B12 supplement
Vitamin B1 supplement
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#4 GetOutOfBox

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 05:36 PM

So far I've been pretty good. The very mild depression/dysthymia I've had for years has pretty much disappeared, I feel like it's easier to maintain my attention on one thing, ignoring the compulsion to suddenly "shift gears" and start doing something else. My motivation is also improving, but it's not as dramatic. Still though, I definetly feel an improvement so far. I haven't experienced any effects relating to speech at all, I neither feel more or less capable of having a fluid conversation.

I have some uridine (UMP) as well as the components for the CILTEP stack (and some extras, like a few other amino acid supplements to see if they help at all). The CILTEP supplements will probably arrive Monday or Tuesday, I expect the uridine (coming from the states to Canada) will take longer, maybe a week or two.

I doubled my dose of Oxiracetam today, to 1600 mg in a single dose. It didn't do a lot more in terms of concentration, mood, motivation, etc, but I did notice a sudden surge of the vision effects some people described. It's very cool, I feel like my visions sharpened, I doubt it's actually "better", but it seems "different" somehow. It doesn't affect functionality at all, but it's odd, looking around it's like things have been slightly oversharpened, sort of like what an Unsharp Mask filter in Photoshop looks like. It's a fun novelty that doesn't interfere or help.

Edited by GetOutOfBox, 20 January 2013 - 05:51 PM.


#5 sjroden

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 06:14 AM

I understand exactly what you are describing regarding the motivational issues and the times where you stare into a page and fail to take any meaning from the words on it. I have been reading all night about l-tyrosine. From what i have seen it is supposed to help alot with thyroid management and even depression. I currently take 15mg adderall XR in the morning and then 10 mg instant mid afternoon. The adderall got me through college with honors and has helped tons in my work life but i feel like its starting to wear out. It gets me going in the morning as usual but seems to wear off much faster than in years past. I also notice lately that my motivation has been lacking too. I used to take adderall and dive into any task large or small with full enthusiasm, but not so much anymore.

I hope to find an orthomolecular / nutrient based solution to adderall dependence. Going to start taking 1.5 grams of l-tyrosine tomorrow morning. I read that Omega 3 fish oil is supposed to help with ADHD. Also, B vitamin complex is supposed to increase the tyrosine getting into the bloodstream.

I did see that one reference advised not taking tyrosine and 5-htp together since they both use the same route through the blood brain barrier. Basically they just get in each other's way. The tyrosine should cover most of the benefits you are looking for from 5-htp anyways.

#6 Bapo

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 01:14 PM

Please keep posting, my symptoms and history with sleep/stimulants are literally exactly the same as yours. I'm very interested to seeing how your trials work out! I'm currently developing a stack and will post my results soon :)
Best of luck!

#7 GetOutOfBox

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 05:01 PM

Well, here's an update. Things have been fantastic so far, I really think the stack is working. A few things I've been noticing improvements in are attention, mood stability (not nessarily any particular feeling, but I feel emotionally steadier, less prone to surges of anger or depression), and recall (particularly audio-memories, like musical lyrics). One interesting thing I think I should mention is that I originally dismissed attention-span as being an issue for me; I felt that my attention span was just fine, and that motivation was my only problem. Interestingly, I've realized that my attention was impaired, something I've only realized upon reflection comparing my current state with my previous one. Here's an example: I can actually sustain my attention long enough to imagine a video game in my mind, and actually "play" that game. All in my imagination. It's not nessarily fun lol, but I'm now able to actually sustain a cohesive thought long enough to actually simulate something like that, or to imagine walking through a memory without other thoughts clouding that one. A practical effect this improvment has had is that I'm actually finding it easier to stick with work; not nessarily because of motivation, but because I find myself less distracted by other thoughts. I've always been very tolerant of ambient distractions, but it seems that I had some kind of executive disregulation impairing my ability to actually seperate my own thoughts, repressing some and pondering others. It's definetly not a mood things, but an attention related thing, and it's helping greatly with my ability to get work done. I suspect I have the Oxiracetam and the Alpha-GPC (and possibly the ALCAR due to it's effects upon ACh receptors) to thank for this aspect of my improvement.

Another improvement I've felt is a subtly improved feeling of motivation. It's not like an active-drug effect where everything seems exciting, but I've noticed a return in my ability to take pleasure in less stimulating things, like work or programming. It's subtle, but I suspect it's due to the L-Tyrosine restoring a normal level of neurotransmitters, perhaps allowing the Adderall to work more effectively. I don't eat a whole lot on average (I do eat enough, but I tend to eat small meals and then one full meal at dinner), and definetly don't eat a ton of meat, so perhaps I have a mild deficiency of amino acids. That would explain why the Adderall didn't seem to do much, even doubling the dose (a lot of people seem to respond well to it, even recreationally in those with no mental conditions, for me it never seemed to do anything dramatic), as perhaps there simply wasn't enough of the neurotransmitters, rather than too little being released. I'll have to see if this keeps up in the next few weeks, since the study that inspired the idea recorded results over a period of a month and a half. I've also noticed an interesting small effect; I've begun to feel feelings of attraction regularly (not excessively though) again. Normally I'm pretty asexual in the sense that I really don't have any sexual thoughts, and a very weak drive. I realized today that I felt like more of a sexual being if that makes any sense. It's not that I'm horny 24/7 now, but it's like I'm capable of looking at a person and feeling sexually attracted to them. It's hard to explain, but it's like before this regimen I was mostly asexual, and now I'm I have what would be considered a "normal" sexual drive. This doesn't make a huge difference to me right now, but in the long run this may make a huge difference in terms of my dating success.

My mild depression is also gone, and though my psychological social anxiety remains (I may use Phenibut very rarely to counteract that), my general anxiety that seemed to have no cause is virtually gone. I used to regularly spiral into just sitting in my room feeling stressed, just because I had a homework assignment I didn't want to do. The 5-HTP may be what's helped with that, due to the same reasons as to why the Tyrosine seems to work. I take 150 mg right before bed.

Don't underestimate the magnesium either, I've seen a lot of talk about how even a mild magnesium deficiency can cause chronic fatigue, depression, fogginess, etc. I'm fairly certain I was mildly deficient, as the long-running muscle stiffness issues I've been having are gone.

I'm still aware that this all may be the placebo effect, but I'm fairly certain it's not. I can still see and acknowledge that I have some psychological issues I need to actually work to fix, such as the social anxiety or my bad procrastination. The results I've had are fairly subtle, which is good; realistic. I don't suddenly feel like a god, I just feel more capable to deal with my problems, and like a load's been taken off of my shoulders.

I understand exactly what you are describing regarding the motivational issues and the times where you stare into a page and fail to take any meaning from the words on it. I have been reading all night about l-tyrosine. From what i have seen it is supposed to help alot with thyroid management and even depression. I currently take 15mg adderall XR in the morning and then 10 mg instant mid afternoon. The adderall got me through college with honors and has helped tons in my work life but i feel like its starting to wear out. It gets me going in the morning as usual but seems to wear off much faster than in years past. I also notice lately that my motivation has been lacking too. I used to take adderall and dive into any task large or small with full enthusiasm, but not so much anymore.

I hope to find an orthomolecular / nutrient based solution to adderall dependence. Going to start taking 1.5 grams of l-tyrosine tomorrow morning. I read that Omega 3 fish oil is supposed to help with ADHD. Also, B vitamin complex is supposed to increase the tyrosine getting into the bloodstream.

I did see that one reference advised not taking tyrosine and 5-htp together since they both use the same route through the blood brain barrier. Basically they just get in each other's way. The tyrosine should cover most of the benefits you are looking for from 5-htp anyways.


Yeah, I take Adderall too, 20 mg XR (extended release), which is basically around 10 mg in the bloodstream at any given time (the instant release beads in the capsule dissolve immidietly, releasing half into the digestive tract, the extended release beads dissolve over time, keeping serum levels roughly the same for the drugs half-life). I also take a tiny Ritalin dose in the afternoon to prevent a crash (10 mg instant release). One big change I plan to make is to go off the Adderall and Ritalin for a month, as I have definetly developed a tolerance to them. I then plan to use them as needed, rather than daily. The thing with stimulants is that you will usually inevetably build a tolerance to them. It's part of the bodies homeostatic processes, it will compensate for increased dopamine and norepinephrine release. I have no idea why it seems to be mainstream for doctors to prescribe stimulants for daily use for non-incapacitating disorders (for example, people with narcolepsy NEED to take stimulants daily to function, but people with ADHD/ADD can easily take breaks and still be functional if they haven't become addicted to the meds). It defeats the purpose of a potentially very effective drug, to take Adderall daily. My plan is to give my brain a good month or so completely off the Ritalin/Adderall so that my dopamine/norepinephrine receptors will upregulate, and then use the Adderall sparingly. I recall about two years ago it used to be very effective, but not for long. The first month or two it was fantastic, but then it tapered off to my normal ADHD levels. The bad thing about that is that I now need to take Adderall to function at my "normal" ADD level of motivation, but as it wears off in the evening, my motivation goes with it. If I get rid of my tolerance for it, then I can use it whenever I need to get a lot of work done, rather than just taking it daily. Doctors will reccomend increasing the dose, but that just delays tolerance, it doesn't prevent it. I also have noticed that higher doses weren't nessarily better for me, I believe that my ADD is more related to dopamine than norepinephrine (Adderall stimulates the release of both Dopamine and Norepinephrine, as well as inhibits their reuptake), as I noticed that although the higher doses made a stronger "feel-good" effect, they also made me more jumpy and irritable, perhaps a result of too much epinephrine and noepinephrine.

I have heard good things about Memantine preventing tolerance, but it's not cheap and not easy to find (it's an Rx medication in the US, so only sketchy websites tend to have it at a reasonable price), and it's definetly no replacement for simply cycling the Adderall (I'll probably take it at most 3 times a week, with a day between each dose).

I've noticed some good things about supplementing Omega fatty acids in people with ADHD too, I may add fish-oil to my stack. I do get a decent amount through the Soy-milk I drink regularly, but probably not enough to reach supplement levels.

As for the 5-HTP and L-Tyrosine, I take them apart from each other. The L-Tryosine is twice a day, so usually that means 1.5 g in the morning around 8am, then another 1.5 g around 5pm. The 5-HTP I take right before bed, which puts that around 11pm. Definetly enough time apart that they won't interfere with each other.

Please keep posting, my symptoms and history with sleep/stimulants are literally exactly the same as yours. I'm very interested to seeing how your trials work out! I'm currently developing a stack and will post my results soon :)
Best of luck!


Yeah, I'm having a lot of (realistic) success right now. It's not like all of my issues have disappeared overnight, but I'm feeling like I can control them now. I'm really excited to try the Uridine and CILTEP stack out, there seems to be a lot of consistent success with them. I also have some Noopept on it's way, but I have doubts about it. Some people seem to have fantastic results with motivation, in others it seems to do the exact opposite, inducing amotivation and anhydonia. I'm going to try the minimum dose and see if my head-explodes or not ;).

I'm starting to suspect that ADD (/ADHD-Pi/SCT) is not a single disorder with a single cause, but rather symptoms that are caused by various genetic (too little dopamine/norepinephrine released)/metabolic (i.e malabsorption of key nutrients, brought about by Bowal Overgrowth or Celiacs)/dietary deficiencies. People with similar symptoms seem to find relief from quite a variety of regimens. For some, magnesium fixed them, others, it was CILTEP, or Vitamin B, or L-Tyrosine, or anxiolotics. I think the key thing to consider is that lack of motivation can be caused by many underlying emotive states. Feeling constantly anxious/stressed/tense/depressed can in turn reduce your desire to do anything even a little strenuous. An underlying neurochemical imbalance can impair attention or executive function, again, indirectly impairing motivation (it's hard to feel motivated when it's very difficult to do a task), then there are similar disorders, like anhedonia, which are different, but feel similar (not feeling pleasure can be considered synonymous with not feeling motivated, since pleasure is a factor in motivation). I think experimenting with the various possible treatments is the best course of action, to find the best fix for you. I also strongly believe that there are two sides to ADD, the physical, neurological dysfunction, as well as various psychological issues. I can definetly say that discipline is part of the problem for me, I will admit to having a tendency towards laziness. But I believe that psychological issue is greatly amplified by an underlying neurological one, which I may be fixing. So be open towards investigating psychiatric treatment in addition to just meds and supplements. Also, do not underestimate the power of a good sleep schedule, even just an hour less sleep can be crippling if that means missing a chunk of a deep, slow-wave sleep cycle. Keep in mind that the most restive state for the dopinamergic system is during Stages 3 and 4 of Non-REM sleep states. During this state there is little dream activity, and one can assume the conciousness is the most repressed. Although REM seems to be very crucial itself, when it comes to actually re-sensitizing neurotransmitter receptors, it's likely NREM sleep that's the most important, due to the little activity going on.

Edited by GetOutOfBox, 21 January 2013 - 05:13 PM.


#8 GetOutOfBox

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 08:34 PM

I just realized that additionally, music suddenly sounds clearer. This may just be the placebo effect, as of course sound quality is one of the most subjective things there is. But I was listening to music today and it suddenly just hit me how much "clearer" it sounded. Like I can hear more detail or something, or distinguish between individual sounds better. It's a very pleasant effect, placebo or not xD.

#9 Ivy

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 09:32 AM

Oxiracetam, 800 mg in the morning, then 800 mg in the afternoon (about 7 hours later)
Alpha-GPC, 1 g with each dose of Oxiracetam (1 g twice daily)
ALCAR 500 mg with every Oxiracetam dose (twice daily)
Thiamine (Vitamin B1) once at lunch
Vitamin B12 once at lunch.
Calcium+Magnesium+Zinc combo supplement, once at 6PM
150 mg 5-HTP in the morning and again in the afternoon.
1100 mg L-Tyrosine same as above


I'm just wondering how much you're paying for the 1g of Alpha-GPC because it looks much too pricey.

#10 GetOutOfBox

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 12:39 PM

I've actually halved that dose, it was giving me muscle spasms. 500mg twice a day. Not too pricey.

FYI I got my racetam/GPC from Relentless Improvement, pretty good store, though a little pricey.

The other stuff is from National Nutrition, a Canadian nutrition web store, they're good for most herb/dietary supps, but no Racetams sadly.

#11 GetOutOfBox

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 04:37 PM

Just a note to people considering prescription meds for ADHD, Guanfacine (aka Tenex, and Intuniv which is an extended release version) might be of interest to you. It's a rather novel approach that is probably only suitable for certain causes of ADHD. It seems to work by strengthening neural connections in the Prefrontal-Cortex of the brain, which amongst other things, regulates attention and behavior. This means a potential pseudo-permanent effect after using it for extended periods, I'm not sure if the prefrontal-cortex will regress slowly after ceasing the usage of the drug, but it would definetly have long-term effects.

It sounds like it may be most suitable for people who's ADHD leans towards hyperactivity/impulsiveness, but I suspect it may also help some ADD (ADHD-Pi) cases where the root of the problem is in attention regulation. One does not nessesarily have to manifest hyperactivity or impulsiveness to have attention regulating issues, nor does that nessesarily mean having a low attention-span. In my case, I seem to have issues regulating my thoughts (executive function), it's not that I "can't" focus, or are easily distracted by my surroundings, but my brain seems to have trouble maintaining a cohesive thought for long periods of time. It's easy for me to get de-railed from one line of thinking to another.

Another interesting use for it that I've seen during my research is for the treatment of sufferers of chronic anxiety, who do not fit the normal sub-types (General pervasive anxiety, aka being nearly constantly anxious or "high-strung", or suffering acute anxiety episodes, where an event triggers a prolonged anxiety attack), such as myself. I tend to be pretty relaxed most of the time, but I seem to react poorly to stressors, so when I have something like a homework assignment looming on me, it tends to stress me out to a ridiculous extent. Not a panic kind of stress, but just feeling tense, "spread too thin", etc. This could be related to dysfunctional amagydala activity, causing greater levels of worry then is appropriate to the stressor. Guanfacine may help those suffering this kind of anxiety syndrome, as it's improvement of prefrontal-cortical functioning could correct emotional regulation issues in those who have a dysfunction rooted there.

Now, the possible downside to this medication may be that it lowers (or more appropriately, "modulates") norepinephrine levels in the prefrontal cortex as part of it's mechanism of action. This is due to the hypothetical cause of some cases of ADHD (again, keep in mind that there appear to be many different causes of this disorder, in some cases, dopamine is too low, in others, norepinephrine is too low, sometimes both. Sometimes seratonin is involved, and some newer studies are finding glutamergic involvement/GABA deficits), that there is excessive norepinephrine activity in the prefrontal cortex, causing deficits in attention and emotional regulation (as in inappropriate mood responses/spikes). So in individuals who do not have a problem in this area, or actually have the opposite, too little norepinephrine activity, this may worsen their condition. I don't believe the drug works by downregulating receptors, rather it seems to reduce the expression of norepinephrine in that specific part of the brain. Hence any negative side-effects are probably short term. If your attention seems to worsen without improving after a month, I'd definitely stop using it.

I may try to convince my doctor to let me give it a try, it had no possible recreational use, so there's no reason he'd be suspicious. Not sure when I'll get an appointment, but if and when I do, I'll keep an update on my success.

Edited by GetOutOfBox, 22 January 2013 - 04:38 PM.

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#12 GetOutOfBox

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 08:18 PM

Well, got some Noopept today from Smart Powders, took one tablet sub-lingually (which was actually pretty hard to pull up, maybe I just hypersalivate, but I was practically frothing at the mouth lol), noticed very little. Took another tablet after giving the first 30 minutes to take effect. Still nothing really.

The only thing I noticed was that colors may have appeared much more saturated, and I seem to be able to process visual information slightly faster (moving text seems more visible than before), but that may have been the Oxiracetam. Definetly no immidietly obvious effects after taking it though. Strange, since most people seem to either have a negative or positive response too it.

#13 GetOutOfBox

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 09:28 PM

Update on the Noopept: Woooooah definitely not good for me. My focus went out the window, I feel scattered and filled with nervous tension. I'm fidgety, something I don't normally do. It's not the worst of bad responses, I'm still functional, but definetly not productive any more. I doubt I'll stick with it.

#14 Ivy

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 10:13 PM

Update on the Noopept: Woooooah definitely not good for me. My focus went out the window, I feel scattered and filled with nervous tension. I'm fidgety, something I don't normally do. It's not the worst of bad responses, I'm still functional, but definetly not productive any more. I doubt I'll stick with it.


Cool, thanks for the feedback.

#15 GetOutOfBox

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 05:18 AM

One interesting thing regarding the Noopept; the negative effects did disappear, however I still felt no perceptible positives. Yet, I seemed to be more social than normal. I didn't nesesarily feel more social, but I was more comfortable being social. It's like it sort of glossed over my social anxiety, though I would definetly not call it fixed. I only realized there was an effect when I realized that I had actually reached out to some person I had just met, asking them about their interests. Normally I feel really awkward trying to start personal conversations with new people, so I always just stick to non-personal small talk. This time I actually did have a deeper conversation. Maybe just circumstantial, who knows. I think I will give the Noopept another try later, but not right now, as I'm looking more for motivation/concentration/mood regulation, at the moment.

I'm really excited to try the Uridine stack when it arrives, as I've heard a lot of good things about dopamine receptor upregulation and release modulation; I expect it will help greatly when I start weaning myself off of chronic stimulant use, and it will probably have a lot of positive effects beyond just that. The two stacks that I've heard a lot of good things about are the CILTEP and Uridine stacks, they seem really relevant to ADHD issues (CILTEP, concentration and attention, Uridine, dopamergic health, mood regulation amongst many other positives).

#16 GetOutOfBox

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 04:03 PM

Well, I decided to take Noopept again today, just to give it another shot. This time I took 30 mg, which seems to be about the highest common dose (aside from people mega-dosing). Again, I experienced none of the prominent effects others noted, so real difference in motivation (good or bad). However, I've begun to notice the social effects it has on me. Originally, I thought it might have made socializing with new people easier for me because of inhibition-reducing qualities, or anxiolytic effects, but I've begun to realize that it's more that it reduces the fear/stress response that people with social anxiety (myself included, albeit more minor) experience. For example, normally if I socialize with someone, if I do something I think is awkward I feel really shitty, and fatalistic about how they think of me (i.e I do one awkward thing and I can't help but think that they now think I'm really weird). So it's not that I'm afraid of socializing itself, it's just that I tend to overreact or sort of panic when I do something awkward. This has negative effects on my social abilities, since in order to compensate for it, I tend to avoid ever opening up to people, maintaining a facade that I think they'll find "normal".

As you can see, it appears that in my case, my social anxiety seems to be a result of an inappropriate stress response (something seems to be a common issue with me), where I feel stress to a greater degree than normal. This could be because of any number of factors, but I suspect my amygdala is involved due to the acute nature of the disorder, as I'm not chronically stressed or anxious, but "triggers" tend to set off a disproportionate stress response. This could just be psychological, however I consider myself to be a very rational, and reflective person. I'm not the type to intellectually freak out. I stop, look at the problem, and determine solutions. However, emotionally, I seem to easily jar into anxiety/stress.

So where Noopept comes into this, is that I'm beginning to realize that it's effect on my social interactions is not that it makes me more socialable, or making me feel relaxed (i.e GABA agonists), but that it seems to inhibit the cascade of anxiety and stress when I feel awkward. I find it easier to just shrug things off and go on with things, to not focus on what I perceived negatively and obsess over it. For example, today I asked a teacher when the exam was, and she laughed and told me to ask the classroom. So all eyes turned upon me, and I of course had to ask about 19 people when the exam was. Everyone laughed (not meanly, but still, that's like the worst nightmare for someone with SA), as it turns out I had mixed up my classes, and this one had no exam. The funny thing is, I realized upon leaving that I had kept my cool, I really wasn't in the slightest bit upset. In fact, I was sort of laughing at the whole thing. It's not that I would have normally freaked out and burst into tears or anything, but my usual reaction would be to feel extremely embarrassed, stupid, and spend the next hour feeling like shit due to believing that everyone thought I was retarded/weird. It's hard to explain, but things like that normally stress me out a lot. Today, I barely felt bad at all. I didn't even really feel that nervous during the actual thing.

Now, I've been using a bunch of Nootropics/Supplements, so I can't say this is definitely Noopept that caused this, and furthermore, maybe it was just the placebo effect. However, I definitely did not expect this effect, to be honest, after yesterday, I didn't really have much hope regarding the Noopept at all, so it seems unlikely to me that it's effect on my SA is entirely placebo-mediated. I've noticed that Noopept seems to blunt my emotions slightly, both positive and negative, which may not be desirable for most people, but if that is what it's doing, it could be invaluable for people with mood-disorders. It seems to keep me level, which isn't the best for productivity, but seems great for just a normal day. And if the social effect is actually the result of the Noopept, combining it with a GABA agonist like Phenibut and using them for single occasions (all GABA agonists/reuptake inhibitors have a potential to induce tolerance extremely quickly, and cause horrible withdrawal, so be careful. From what I've read, using them for occasions spread at least a week apart seems to be best with GABA related things) could have the potential to temporarily alleviate SA or any anxiety related disorder if it has the same effects for you as it does for me.

So, I doubt I'll use it often, but I plan to save it for something I anticipate to be stressful, and see if it helps.

#17 merriweather

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 07:19 PM

Your quest is relevant to my interests, I'm totally following your progression.
I feel pretty much on the same page with your first post.

#18 GetOutOfBox

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 08:53 PM

Ok, so I've been doing a lot of thinking, and my current theory for the lack of motivation is a fusion of psychological and physiological issues. I think that the root of the problem is a dysfunction in my dopaminergic system, which reduces the impact of operant conditioning on my motivation. This makes sense, since I don't suffer from complete anhydonia, however, I tend to only feel "good"/motivated to do "easy" activities, such as watching movies, playing video games, etc. Complicated tasks such as programming take longer and more effort to complete, and they have less intrinsic reward (the reward is more derived from a sense of having completed a job, rather than something tangible). It makes sense; why would I feel motivated to do something that doesn't feel rewarding? I know I should do it, but it just doesn't have the feeling behind it. This part is key, so I suggest anyone with similar issues consider that. Sure, you may be a smart person, who has ambition, drive, a desire to fulfill one's capabilities, but what may be holding you back is that you, like me, lack the sense of satisfaction that is derived from the actual process of working. I've observed several close friends of mine, all of whom are smart and very productive people, and the single biggest difference between me and them that I can distinguish is that for them, work can be fun. My friend talks about drawing like he enjoys the actual process, even though it is work. The same goes for another friend, who is a programmer like me. He enjoys it, even the tough stuff (well, except when he's stressed and feeling pressured :P). I have only rarely felt like that. For me, if I derive any pleasure from work, it's only after I've finished it, like a sigh of relief.

What this suggests to me is a dysfunctional dopaminergic system; specifically as a result of a few possible factors:

A) Insufficient dopamine release. I tend to feel less rewarded by work then other people seem to. I tend to turn to basic pleasures like food (candy especially, though I'm actually pretty skinny, luckily), video games, etc, in order to feel good.
B) Dopamine is reabsorbed too rapidly. This could be an explanation for why I tend to not derive consistent satisfaction from work, I quickly tire of it and wanting to do something else.
C) Dopamine receptor downregulation, which has probably been exacerbated by my chronic Adderal/Ritalin usage. This is probably the biggest problem. It explains my tendency towards apathy, towards avoiding social interactions due to an imbalance in positive and negative reinforcement (I feel negative reinforcement strongly, but positive very weakly), etc, etc.

So here's my plan: I have exams coming up, so I can't discontinue my Adderal usage right now, I need to be able to concentrate. However, once exams are finished, I intend to cut my dosage of Adderal in the morning (still taking ritalin in the evening) to 15 mg. I'll do that for two weeks, and then I'll just take the Adderall out, and take one Ritalin (10mg) in the morning, and one in the evening. Eventually I'll cut the evening dose out. I expect to go through a few weeks of slight grogginess/amotivation, but it'll be worth it in the long run. My chronic usage of those stimulants have made them worse than useless; they've become a handicap. I need them to function, and without them I'm worse. That's the nature of tolerance. By removing my daily stimulant usage, my brains dopamine receptors will upregulate after a couple of months, after which I can use them whenever I need to (hence I can spend half the week with ADD symptoms, and then the other half being productive).

I've also been researching various ways to artificially induce dopamine receptor upregulation (specifically D2 receptors), beyond normal homeostasis. This seems to be a better route than artificially increasing dopamine, and is probably also healthier in the long run due to the risks of increased dopamine (toxicity, degradation of dopamine neurons, etc). A few possibilities I've turned up are: Inositol, Melatonin (not a ton of research behind it's use for D2-upregulation, but it's dirt cheap, so it can't hurt to try), and Forskohlii. Additionally, as I've mentioned previously, Uridine shows promise to modulate dopamine levels (normalize, so smoothing spikes out into more stable levels, which is exactly what I'm looking for). Some lifestyle changes are also called for, which I've already been practicing for the last while; better sleep (meaning consistent onset times and duration, preferably 8.5 hours), removing regular stimulant use (caffeine, which affects the dopaminergic system as well as adenosine), and exercise.

That's the physiological side of things, to basically restore and improve my dopaminergic system. The equally crucial side to this plan is the psychological side of things. What I think a lot of ADD-sufferers lose sight of when trying to find a medication, is that no medication can be selective enough to modulate your moods/motivation for you. What I'm saying is, you can take as much Adderall or Vyvvanse as you want, and you may still not do homework. The reason for this is that a functional dopaminergic system is only part of the puzzle, a healthy one will allow you to feel more stable, and more energetic. However, you still must condition it to respond to desired stimuli. If you want to feel motivated to do homework, or your hobbies, you've got to essentially train yourself to associate them with positive feelings, in addition to feeling satisfied doing them. To increase my productivity and break out of my apathy, I plan to start by setting aside 15 minutes every day where I will work on a personal hobbie. Just 15 minutes. During that time, I will also use positive reinforcement methods such as candy to associate the work with a positive feeling (though for this to work, you have to focus on the non-tangible rewards mainly, since merely employing "treats" is not sustainable; you'll associate pleasure with the treat itself, not the work.). This sounds childish, but I believe it's the best course. You need a healthy dopaminergic system for this to work, but just having a well-functioning reward system will not selectively make you motivated to your interests, it needs to be conditioned to work alongside them. Maybe it's just psychobabble, but I'm definetly going to give it a try.

I'll keep posting as anything interesting develops.
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#19 Optimism

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 10:01 PM

What I think a lot of ADD-sufferers lose sight of when trying to find a medication, is that no medication can be selective enough to modulate your moods/motivation for you. What I'm saying is, you can take as much Adderall or Vyvvanse as you want, and you may still not do homework.



This is so fucking true.
When I took Adderall, I would actually get really fucking mad at myself when I would still waste time online when I knew I had to get something done.
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#20 GetOutOfBox

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 11:13 PM

What I think a lot of ADD-sufferers lose sight of when trying to find a medication, is that no medication can be selective enough to modulate your moods/motivation for you. What I'm saying is, you can take as much Adderall or Vyvvanse as you want, and you may still not do homework.



This is so fucking true.
When I took Adderall, I would actually get really fucking mad at myself when I would still waste time online when I knew I had to get something done.


Yeah, I find that in general, it makes me feel "better", at least what it's working, but it doesn't actually make me feel specifically motivated to work, which when you think about it, makes sense. I think that doctor's give an unrealistic expectation as to what stimulants will do and what they won't. You usually have two kinds of doctors; the ones who won't acknowledge ADHD as a disorder, or the ones who just hand out a bottle of Ritalin and tell kids to take them every day, which is fucking suicide, since they eventually just move up the bar of what you need to feel good. They only work if taken irregularly, and even then, they won't actually condition you to feel motivated. However, they help start the process, I think that individuals with amotivation don't respond to conditioning as well as average people during childhood, do to dopaminergic dysfunction. So fixing that with Adderall is the first step, but some form of therapy, self-implemented or not, is required to actually take advantage of the stimulants, or else all they are are weak uppers.
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#21 Jonathan Moy de Vitry

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 04:40 PM

Hi!

I suffer from ADHD-PI (lots of brain fog, short-term memory problems, constant feeling of tiredness).
Personally, after nootropics, Ritalin, and exercise, zinc has helped me the most with brain fog.

I would recommend adding a strong dose of zinc to your stack. There is scientific research, at least with children, that zinc has strong positive effects on the symptoms of hyperactivity.

Edited by Jonathan Moy de Vitry, 25 January 2013 - 04:42 PM.


#22 GetOutOfBox

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 05:55 PM

Well, I received my Artichoke Extract and Forskohli Extract (CILTEP stack) yesterday, took it then, and today. I've been noticing a moderate difference in terms of attentiveness. I'll have to keep trying it for a few days to get an accurate idea of how much of an overall improvement there is.

Hi!

I suffer from ADHD-PI (lots of brain fog, short-term memory problems, constant feeling of tiredness).
Personally, after nootropics, Ritalin, and exercise, zinc has helped me the most with brain fog.

I would recommend adding a strong dose of zinc to your stack. There is scientific research, at least with children, that zinc has strong positive effects on the symptoms of hyperactivity.


I am actually taking a Zinc supplement, however I'd advise against megadosing zinc. Stick to the RDA for it (roughly 8 mg/day for women, 11 mg/day for men. Suggested upper limit for safety is 20-30 mg/day), as it's very easy to cause a secondary copper deficiency when supplementing zinc. It can accumulate in the body (especially the prostate in men), and hence can cause issues at high levels.

Regardless, zinc is only relevant to brain-fog is your diet is deficient or you have some sort of malabsorption issue (i.e celiacs). Zinc deficiency can cause symptoms similar to ADHD (due to it's key role in the glutamatergic system, which is a very large part of synaptic plasticity), and hence correcting it can alleviate issues in those with low levels. However, supplementing beyond normal dietary requirements will do nothing at best, and can cause severe issues such as neuropathy at worst.

Edited by GetOutOfBox, 25 January 2013 - 05:55 PM.


#23 GetOutOfBox

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 07:06 PM

Ok, an update on the CILTEP stack:

Today is my third day on it. Things are going really really well. Yesterday I spent about 12 hours straight finishing a huge assignment, and I kid you not, that's 12 hours with minimal breaks. Now, that was out of nessesity, as it was due, but normally I'd have gotten exhausted around the 3 hour mark (at most) and given up, making some excuse to the teacher. Not this time. I felt like it was easier to keep my train of thought, to not allow my impulses to distract me (it's not that I normally can't ignore them, but they nag at me, reducing my focus until I give in to them). Every time something came up that distracted me, I just thought "No, keep working", and magically, I could.

Now of course, this could be the placebo effect, but I definetly didn't get that kind of result from the Oxi alone, even the first day I used it when I was really hyped up about it. I'll update again if this keeps up!

I'm currently using everything in my last update of my stack, plus 300 mg Artichoke Extract (6%) and 50 mg Forskohlii Extract (18%,)
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#24 UnknownSuitor

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 11:21 PM

I am following this like it's a million dollar investment. I really want to know what you continue to experience. Please don't stop, every bit of information allows people just like you who are looking for help to find it.

=)
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#25 abelard lindsay

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 03:59 AM

Now of course, this could be the placebo effect, but I definetly didn't get that kind of result from the Oxi alone, even the first day I used it when I was really hyped up about it. I'll update again if this keeps up!

I'm currently using everything in my last update of my stack, plus 300 mg Artichoke Extract (6%) and 50 mg Forskohlii Extract (18%,)


It's good to hear that you're getting good results. Are you taking a B-vitamin supplement? I've been theorizing over on the main thread that a B-vitamin supplement is necessary to maintain the effectiveness of the CILTEP stack over time.

Edited by abelard lindsay, 27 January 2013 - 04:00 AM.


#26 GetOutOfBox

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 04:56 AM

It's good to hear that you're getting good results. Are you taking a B-vitamin supplement? I've been theorizing over on the main thread that a B-vitamin supplement is necessary to maintain the effectiveness of the CILTEP stack over time.


Yeah, I'm taking B1 and B12 supplements once daily (B12 especially since it's almost exclusively absorbed from animal products/fermented products, which I incidentally don't consume a lot of). I also take 1500 mg Brewers Yeast 3 times daily, which are an excellent source of most of the B vitamins (except B12).

I'd reccomend supplementing Vitamin B regardless of CILTEP stack usage, since many people, despite being for the most part healthy, don't eat a huge variety of foods every day. It's difficult to assure that one always gets a good intake of everything. Just make sure to supplement all of them, or at least when taking folic acid (B9), take it alongside B12, since folic acid can mask the effects of a B12 deficiency (it fixes the obvious symptoms, most of which are due to anemia), until it's caused irreversible cognitive damage. So you want to make sure you're always taking B12 alongside B9 (the relationship doesn't work both ways though, B12 will not have the same effect on a B9 deficiency).

#27 Major Legend

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 04:31 PM

Great thread, just wanted to add you should make clear to readers your use of BID Adderall XR, it could play a huge factor into why your stack is working, more like the stack is enhancing the effects of the Adderall. I've also read reports of CILTEP working better with adderall. Adderall is a strong cognitive stimulant (the other strong drug being Oxiracetam), and I without adderall doubt you would be able to produce similar motivational results, which begs the question have you ever tried Oxiracetam by itself without Adderall?

#28 GetOutOfBox

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 04:18 PM

I doubt the Adderall is helping me right now. I've been using it daily for around 2 years, and hence have built up a tolerance to it. This means that if I take it, I feel like my normal "ADD self", if I don't take it/when it wears off, I feel amotivated and sluggish. As I've mentioned before, I plan to withdraw myself from the daily Adderall use, abstain for at least a month, and then resume use on an as-needed basis. I'm sure then that there will be a perceivable effect.

I've already withdrawn caffeine usage for the last few weeks, which has had a significant affect on reducing my mild general anxiety (used to be a near-constant overwhelmed sort of feeling). I was drinking macha tea daily, which has a significant amount of caffeine, not enough to be acutely dangerous, but definetly enough to build tolerance, and perhaps evoke anxiety in those predisposed (even just one cup (8 oz water, about 1 tsp/2 g matcha powder) of macha tea can have anywhere between 70*90 mg of caffeine, and I drank around 2-3 of those servings a day). So eliminating for the last while has helped greatly. I'm sure that amount of caffeine may have also resulted in increased dopamine receptor downregulation, since caffeine has indirect effects on dopamine release, especially at higher doses.
I plan to use the caffeine in the same way as Adderall, as needed.

For daily ADHD medication usage, I'm going to ask my doctor to try me on Intuniv this weekend, it looks really interesting, working by strengthening Prefrontal-Cortical connections, by agonizing α2A receptors. By agonizing these receptors, HCN channels are closed in the neurons, allowing more effective communication between synapse, and I would assume, improving LTP (Long-Term Potentiation) of Prefrontal-Cortical neurons. My guess is that this beneficial effect may allow me to more effectively "train" myself to focus on completing tasks, since LTP is critical for learned behaviors. Additionally, strengthening PFC function should also ameliorate emotional regulation issues (exaggerated stress response, avoidant behaviors, etc). Modern studies of ADHD are finding that the PFC is much more involved than dopamine, and some even believe that the dopamine issues that were originally thought to be the explanation for the efficacy of stimulants, were actually brought about by long-term treatment with Ritalin/other stimulants. The PFC-dysfunction model for the disorder, especially those with hyperactive/impulsive tendencies, makes a lot of sense. The PFC is responsible for regulating mood, inhibiting impulsive behavior that the amygdala generates, regulating attention, etc. Essentially, it's key in slow, rational thinking processes. Even the inattentive sub-type of ADHD can be explainable through PFC-dysfunction; prominent hyperactivity is not the only way it can manifest itself. Inattentiveness is at it's core a difficulty in selectively maintaining attention on one thought. Inattentive individuals will often shift trains of thought, and find having to focus on one, less stimulating thought process (like mathematical homework), more difficult.

So my idea is to combine Intuniv, with self-training. Each day, I will aim to do 30 minutes of work on my own hobbies. I'll administer rewards during that period (sweets, etc). My theory is that if my issue is with the PFC, the Intuniv will allow this motivational conditioning to properly root itself in my PFC, eventually allowing me to feel motivated to do work on my own.

Intuniv is supposed to take a few weeks to work, and I suspect I won't notice anything prominent for at least a month or maybe even more (it may alleviate inhibition issues in the short term, but too see the real benefits, that is proper LTP between the PFC and the rest of the brain, could take longer to become noticeable).

#29 jadamgo

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 02:11 AM

Intuniv is supposed to provide some immediate results, since it strengthens signal-to-noise ratio in PFC circuitry immediately. Unless the dose is high enough to sedate you -- it's been marketed as an anti-hyperactivity drug, and can in fact work as a sleeping pill at high enough doses, but drowsiness is in no way conducive to vigilant attention.

As for attention training, racetams can increase learning speed.

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#30 GetOutOfBox

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 05:35 PM

Intuniv is supposed to provide some immediate results, since it strengthens signal-to-noise ratio in PFC circuitry immediately. Unless the dose is high enough to sedate you -- it's been marketed as an anti-hyperactivity drug, and can in fact work as a sleeping pill at high enough doses, but drowsiness is in no way conducive to vigilant attention.

As for attention training, racetams can increase learning speed.


Yeah, I realize that Intuniv is usually marketed for hyperactivity, but my theory is that it may help people who fit the ADD category of symptoms too. The thing is, I used to be hyperactive, as a child I was very impulsive and had lots of issues with focus and controlling myself. However, my parents and teachers stamped that out with discipline (and of course maturing with age). I wonder however if the underlying issues that caused my hyperactivity as a child are still present, but manifest themselves differently due to behavioral conditioning. Like, perhaps the constant punishment I received as a child for my impulsiveness (understandably too, since I did some stupid shit without thinking about it, like pushing people off of a stage as a joke, yeah, I know, WTF child-self :P) simply placed mental blocks in my head causing me to constantly think about everything I do before I do it, and hence from the surface it appears that motivation is my only issue.

The thing is, I think that the approach my parents and teachers took fixed the symptoms of hyperactivity, that is, they conditioned me to overthink my actions, which has had positive and negative effects. On one hand, I'm now a very careful, thoughtful person; I analyze my thoughts and feelings and hence tend to be very self-aware. However, on the other hand, I overthink social interactions and tend to feel awkward interacting with new people/giving presentations, since I obsess over what people are thinking about what I'm doing (i.e "Am I acting weird, do they notice, are they bored, etc, etc").

Perhaps the underlying issue has always been hyperactivity; some sort of dysfunction in my Prefrontal-Cortex, the symptoms of which have simply changed over the years. On the surface, it appears that motivation is my sole problem, or more accurately, my anticipatory anhedonia (capable of feeling pleasure in the short-term such as watching a movie, but difficulty feeling pleasure with delayed-rewards, such as developing hobbies). However, I wonder if my problem is not anhedonia in the classical sense (as a result of low dopamine/expedited reuptake), but more to do with my ability to regulate and sustain my attention on tasks that don't necessarily provide constant positive feedback, such as learning to play an instrument. My theory is that a dysfunctional PFC (as a result of various causes, such as insufficient blood flow, elevated cAMP causing HCN flooding, excitotoxicity, etc) could possibly impair one's ability to feel a constant flow of sustained interest in a low-stimulus activity. You see, I fit most of the symptoms of classical ADHD (not ADD), with the exception of not having difficulty controlling my attention, at least in the usual sense. I can focus just fine when I want to, however, I have a lot of difficulty voluntarily initiating and pursuing long-term low-stimuli activities, such as learning a skill, even when I have a personal interest in the skill. I lack the feeling of joy when learning that other people feel. I like the results, but the task itself is difficult and I feel little satisfaction while doing it. I've also begun to notice an issue where I seem easily stressed, and when I become even a little stressed, my cognitive ability goes out the window. This part is the most interesting to me; stress seems to just "switch off" some aspect of my cognition. I've heard of issues with stress breaking ADHDer's focus, but for me, I can still focus when stressed, but it's like information enters my mind and immidietly trickles out. When I become frustrated when learning, I get caught in a loop of just re-reading the information I'm trying to understand, over and over again, but it doesn't sink in.

During my research in regards to ADHD's neuropathology, I've come to understand that the amygdala handles emotional integration of experiences (i.e fear, pleasure, aggression) and that it's function can be summarized as primarily handling quick responses to urgent situations, such as freezing when confronted with something terrifying. Essentially, during acute stress, the amygdala overrides the Prefrontal-Cortex (which has more to do with slow, rational thinking) and produces immediate responses to stressful situations. A dysfunction in this balance between the amygdala and the PFC seems to explain much of my issues. The amygdala is not well-suited to handle a rational process such as learning abstract concepts. And an overactive response to stress from the amygdala could explain my coinciding social issues. When I'm socializing with people, I sometimes get a sort of "tunnel vision" sensation; almost like dissociation, but yet I still feel connected to reality. After the situation is over, my memories of my time spent socializing are faded; not gone, I still remember everything that happened, but they feel faded, nowhere near as vivid as much of the rest of my memories. Also, during this time I tend to fail to absorb facts while talking with the person, so though I'm not suffering from full-blown amnesia, I may forget much of what we talked about. It's very odd, since I wouldn't call it anxiety exactly, more like tension.

Anyways, to make a long story short, I have a hunch that my PFC may be the root of my problem, not simply depressed levels of dopamine. This would explain why Adderall/Ritalin failed to produce much of a response in me (most people talk of Adderall being the holy grail of motivation, almost to the point of euphoria. It didn't seem to have any affect on my ADD/ADHD at all), why Caffeine makes my problems worse (Caffeine raises cAMP, which at pathological levels can impede PFC connection to the rest of the brain by opening hyperpolarization-activated cyclic nucleotide-gated channels, which can effectively disconnect the PFC which excessively stimulated). I'm willing to at least give Intuniv a try, at worst, it will make me sleepy. It does have positive long-term effects that may be worth the temporary sleepiness, as by lowering levels of cAMP in the PFC, it allows for stronger synaptic connections to be formed, possibly yielding better working memory, alleviating anxiety relating to the Amygdala-PFC, etc.

Also, here's an update in regards to my supplements: I've been taking 250 mg Uridine (UMP) twice a day with 3g flax oil twice a day (switching to fish oil when I run out of flax oil) with 1.5 g yeast 3x a day for the B-Vitamins (with an additional B12 supplement once a day). I have probably noticed the most subtle, but worthwhile results from my usage of that stack. It modulates dopamine activity rather than stimulating it, which is what seems to be happening with me. I've noticed less fluctuations in my motivation, and while I still have motivation issues, I find that rather than having spikes here and there, I seem to have more frequent and longer feelings of motivation, but of lesser intensity, which is what I prefer. I tried Sulbutiamine (first 600mg, then 800 mg), and noticed nothing spectacular (took with fat and without just to see). The odd thing about this supplement is that people here universally recommend taking it as a "once in a while" kind of supplement", yet most of the studies I've seen seem to say that it actually lowers dopamine release, which in the long-term upregulation of receptors (especially D1 receptors, which are the holy grail of long-term salience, but unfortunately, sulbutiamine downregulates kainate receptors which seems to have consequences on memory). So for Sulbutiamine to work, the studies seem to indicate it's actually for long-term use so re-sensitize the dopinamergic system, and is not in fact beneficial in the short term. I wonder if the reason people seem to have remarkably fast "tolerance" to Sulbutiamine's effects is that the "effects" they felt were just placebo induced by the substance's hype. I don't see how a drug that reduces/modulates dopamine could have noticably positive short-term effects. I plan to try taking it for two weeks and then trying a double dose of ritalin against my newly upregulated receptors to see what happens.

Speaking of ritalin/ADHD meds, I've stopped taking Adderall, and have replaced my morning dose with 10 mg Ritalin instead. Amphetamines seem to build tolerance too rapidly, and of course there's the excitotoxic effects (though I was taking a fairly small dose). I plan to take it on occasion when I need a focus boost, rather than daily. Just a warning to Adderall users, even at my rather conservative dose of 20mg XR (which is roughly 10 mg active at any given time), I've noticed depressive withdrawal symptoms. Definetly manageable, but I've noticed that today and yesterday I just had a tendency to feel gloomy and tired, which suspiciously arose the same day I stopped taking it. Adderall is thought to possibly indirectly affect Seratonin a little, so I'd definitely watch out for depressive symptoms when withdrawing, just keep in mind they'll probably fade.
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