May You Never Sleep: Cognition Enhancing Drugs
by R.U. Sirius
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INTELLIGENCE INCREASING DRUGS might be labeled "Cognitive Enhancers,"
"Memory Enhancers," or, in some cases, "Psychic Energizers." What many of
these drugs and nutrients have in common is that they produce effects
similar to effects people are seeking from popular stimulants such as
caffeine, amphetamines and cocaine. These popular drugs temporarily enhance
cognition and memory, and amp up the user's energy levels only to leave the
user depleted. Cocaine and amphetamines might properly be labeled as
short-term intelligence-increase drugs and long-term intelligence-decrease
However, the drugs and nutrients discussed in this review are all believed
to create long term improvements in memory and cognition. Some of them also
provide the short-term high-energy states associated with the stimulant
drugs. Also, there is virtually no tendency towards the kind of weirdness
and darkness of the spirit which so often accompanies even the occasional
speed or cocaine high. It seems that while the illicit stimulants cause
short-term release, but long-term depletion of norepinephrin, many of the
memory-enhancing drugs and nutrients work on the noradrenergic nervous
system in a different way, apparently modulating nerve cell control
mechanisms so that the cellular response is neither too great nor too
little. This is a gross oversimplification. More precise information on each
of these cognitive enhancers is easily available to the serious researcher.
Accurate and concise information for the layperson is easily available
through the popular written works of Durk Pearson and Sandy Shaw who,
whatever one might think of their bucket-of-pills-a-day personal
carefully monitor all of the research in this field.
This survey deals primarily with the short-term experiential effects of
these compounds, since I only have the experience of a relative and
imprecise ongoing use of one drug, Pemoline, and no scientific proof of any
intelligence increase on my part. Besides, a three-hour play can be
realistically reviewed. Reviewing a life is a somewhat more dubious
In consideration of all this, I hereby present a review of
intelligence-increasing drugs. May you never sleep.
VASOPRESSIN - Definitely the most euphoric of the memory-enhancing
intelligence-increase drugs outside of the one being called "Euphoria" (more
on Euphoria later), Vasopressin is marketed as Diapid, a prescription drug
made by our old friends Sandoz. It can also be ordered as Vasopressin
through chemical supply houses by those who know the ropes. I had five
squirts of Vasopressin out of a nasal inhaler. I was surprised by how strong
the effects were. I had that charged-up hyperconfident rush that one
experiences with cocaine, but combined with much clearer ideation and
without the numbing and discomfort or the strange and disquieting hard edges
which often accompany even the more euphoric coke highs. It didn't last very
long, about two hours, most of which unfortunately spent riding the BART and
walking. By the time I got home, the experience had pretty well dissipated.
I did not have an opportunity to experience Vasopressin as a work/writing
drug. It was clear, however, simply from reading (I was reading "Gravity's
Rainbow" at the time and I consider that a fairly challenging test of
comprehension) on the BART ride home, that Vasopressin is an excellent tool
for rapid learning and comprehension of complex systems of thought.
The only other time I had Vasopressin, it was in the form of Diapid. I had
only two squirts at a party late at night on top of fairly substantial
amounts of marijuana and alcohol. It didn't noticeably cut through the
depressant effects of those drugs. However, I did experience an intensified
and prolonged orgasm!
HYDERGINE - The invention of one Dr. Albert Hoffmann of Sandoz Laboratories.
I know of many people who got their hands on buckets of this stuff and I
know of nobody who continues to take it. The effects are said to be
cumulative rather than immediate and everybody seems to lose interest. "I
forgot to take my Hydergine" is a term which one often hears from chagrined
"intelligence agents," fully cognizant (even without Hydergine) of the
ironies involved. This probably says more about the people that I hang out
with than about Hydergine as an intelligence increase agent.
Incidentally, Dr. Hoffmann told a friend of mine that one can get exactly
the same effects one gets from daily megadoses of Hydergine by using 25
micrograms of LSD daily. I have not experimented with subthreshold acid as
an IQ substance, so I cannot comment.
LECITHIN, CHOLINE with INOSITOL, PHENYLALANINE (with VITAMIN C and B6) -
While perhaps less intriguing and glamorous to technophilic reality hackers,
most of these easily available cognitive enhancers have a substantially
perceptible effect. LECITHIN seems to be the exception. Even at "Durk and
Sandy" dosage levels there was no noticeable enhancement of focus, recall,
etc. CHOLINE and INOSITOL, at about three grams each, produce mild but
definite results with no discomfort and can be used daily. I did this once
for about a month and found myself losing my sense of humor. However, if
you're already humorless you might just as well give this a go.
PHENYLALANINE is quite speedy. While it can be used for creativity and
focus, it tends to make one irritable. For emergency use only.
DEANER - This is getting really popular with the "health food set."
Experientially, the effect is very subtle but noticeable. I've tried this a
few times and what I've found is that if I already have a task to do, I will
do it and, in retrospect, I will realize that I sustained my attention for
an unusually long time without flagging or needing a break. However, if I
use this (as I often do with other cognitive enhancers) without a precise
sense of what the task at hand is, it doesn't clarify and help to motivate
activity. This is an important point. Drugs such as Vasopressin, Pemoline,
Euphoria and THA can actually cut through confusion and ennui and help
invoke will. My guess is that most of these substances also work, to varying
degrees, on the pleasure centers of the brain, provoking one's natural 'joie
di vivre' and thereby provoking enthusiasm for creative and organizational
PEMOLINE (usually combined with Magnesium) - The information most frequently
passed around in reference to MAGNESIUM PEMOLINE was published by the Church
of the Tree of Life some years ago in their publication "Bark Leaf". It
recommends taking "Mag-Pem" at 50-100 mgs. every day for two months in order
to substantially increase your I.Q. OUCH! This program is a sure ticket to
severe headaches and extreme nervousness. However, in the 20-30 milligram
range, I've found that this can be used twice weekly with excellent results.
The lift is very substantial and noticeable. I, and several of my friends,
find it particularly good for writing, both creative and functional. For
rapid-fire associations and grand synthesis just combine it with moderate
amounts of Cannabis (Sativa, if possible). It lasts about twelve hours,
coming on slowly and having its greatest effect at around the fifth through
the tenth hours. Clarity and verbal acuity are the strong points here. At
times, the sheer mass of information, new thoughts and connections can
overwhelm and put one into a rather confused state, particularly if one is
not applying oneself to something. When this occurs I find that I can slow
down my thoughts to a point where there is coherence simply by verbalizing
them or writing them down. Unlike its close cousin "EUPHORIA," Pemoline is
emotionally bland. It is not a pleasure drug. WARNING: from my observations,
approximately one in every ten people get nothin' but headaches from even
small doses of Pemoline.
EUPHORIA - Well, someone took Pemoline, twisted it around a little bit and
put a whole lot of pleasure into the equation. This might be a Dangerous
drug! There are lot of different things that seem to happen with Euphoria.
The first time I took it (40 milligrams - I've learned since that 25 mg. is
considered your basic dose) I got really charged up. This is definitely a
High and it comes on suddenly (about 45 minutes after ingestion). My first
response upon coming on to it was an experience of an intense rush of
perceived personal power. I found myself goosestepping down the busy Berkeley
streets thinking about how good I felt, how successful I was destined to be,
and knowing that the world was my oyster. After about 15 minutes of this as
I found myself leaping down the BART escalator, I had to tell myself to slow
down for fear that I would be completely drained later on. Although I didn't
really slow down at all during this experience, I did bring myself into a
somewhat more humane mindset and I spent the subway ride having an almost
methoxylated amphetamine (MDMA, MDA, etc.)-type ideations. In other words, I
wasn't just feeling good about myself, I was feeling good about most
everybody else. The world was everybody's oyster.
Arriving at my office, I immediately found myself doing organizational work
at about three times the normal rate with far more self-assurance and fewer
mistakes than usual. Simultaneously, I was entertaining perspectives on the
nature of my true will and making important phonecalls which I had put off
for some time. I did about thirty hours worth of work in about ten hours. I
literally could not stop. I tried to make myself take a break for about ten
minutes. Within a minute, I found my hand going into a drawer to pull out
another file which needed reorganizing. Believe me, this is very unusual
behavior. I hate organizational work.
This all might sound like the first blushes of an amphetamine high, but
he emotional overtones and the mentation under this substance is of a softer
and more inwardly whole (less alienated) quality. As I've already indicated,
the Euphoria high seems to have a slight methoxylated amphetamine quality to
it. All in all, this was a very powerful experiencing of clarity,
self-assurance and cognitive ability. The following day, I experienced the
same sort of effects at about one-third the intensity. There was no burnout
at all in aftermath.
Subsequent experiments have shown Euphoria to be predictable as an effective
tool for organizing binges, brainstorming sessions and radio talk-show
appearances. It also seems to induce ongoing personal growth in terms of
clarity of personal will. (I've received three other testimonies in this
same direction.) As a writing tool, I've found Euphoria to be variable. It
seems that verbal acuity comes on strong but the verbal circuits burn out
quickly from intensity of use and one has to move on to less verbally
oriented tasks. In other words, this is generally good for creative flashes
and outlining grand syntheses but not too good for actual completion of
written work. It gives one an impatience for minutiae and the kind of
careful faceting that it takes to bring a work to completion. In terms of
appreciation and comprehension of aesthetics and information, this seems the
opposite of its close cousin Pemoline. The accessing mode favored is
visual. One wants to explore a painting or photograph or watch a movie
rather than read a book.
My only complaint about Euphoria is that it lasts 16 hours, which feels
about 4 hours too long. In two of my five experiences, the last four hours
were spent feeling slightly "headachy" and weary, although there was still
no burnout following sleep. I would say, at this point, that Euphoria should
not be used more often than once a week since it is so powerful and so much
energy is expended in the experience. This is easily the most Fun of the
intelligence increasers and, as such, is probably the most likely to be
PRL-8-53 - Untried by your reviewer at this time. However, Durk Pearson is
quoted in 'High Frontiers' as saying that "PRL-8-53 is a terrific memory
enhancer. Normally you can memorize about seven or eight digits just by
looking at them for a second. PRL-8-53 gives the average person a memory
span of about 21 to 22 digits." He also reported that one amnesia victim was
cured with one dose.
THA - Untried by your reviewer at this time. Again, Durk Pearson, this time
in 'High Frontiers/Reality Hackers Newsletter:' "In combination with
arecoline, THA has been found to be remarkably effective as a memory
improver ... it's important that the dosage be individualized ... too much
will actually impair memory and produce sweating, excessive muscle tone and
mouth-watering." The standard dosage is "1 to 2 mg." however, Durk
recommends that you start with a quarter of that every two to four hours and
work up - if you get those side effects, back off.
Letter to the Editor in response to the R.U.Sirius article above.
From the Summer 1988 issue of "Whole Earth Review"
IF THESE DRUGS HAD BOTTLES, HERE'S WHAT THE WARNING LABELS WOULD SAY
I have been a big fan of your magazine for many years now, and I am a firm
believer in the principle that the free exchange of information is a
necessity to the survival and progress of our species. I commend you for
your efforts in this area.
Unfortunately, when it comes to psychopharmacology the old saying, that a
little knowledge is far more dangerous than none at all, is quite often
true. Specifically I am referring to the article of winter '87 on page 56,
"Cognitive Enhancers." I am not upset that you would print this sort of
information; there is both interesting and important research going on in
this field right now. What I object to is the uncritical, inaccurate, and
incomplete information given in an area that has Serious implications on
your reader's health. Here are some errata and addenda for that article,
most of this information is available in the "Physician's Desk Reference"
and the "Merck Index".
VASOPRESSIN - It is a naturally occurring peptide that can cause a wide
variety of effects beyond those mentioned in the article. It strains the
heart by reducing the heart's food and oxygen supply and increasing the
heart's workload by increasing blood pressure. In individuals with hidden or
overt heart problems, this can mean a heart attack. In addition vasopressin
can cause a dangerous elevation in brain fluid pressure, leading to stroke,
coma, or death. Also it can produce vertigo, circumoral pallor, pounding
headaches, cramps, diarrhea, gas, nausea, vomiting, urticaria, difficulty
breathing, anaphylactic shock, and normal shock. It is dangerous to use in
people with a history of epilepsy, migraine, asthma, heart failure, or poor
kidney function. Vasopressin can have dangerous interactions with most
stimulants, including pemoline, caffeine, diet pills, and cold medications.
Overall vasopressin is a real Pandora's Box, but fortunately there is
ongoing research to develop safer and more effective alternatives.
CHOLINE, INOSITOL, VITAMIN B6, PHENYLALANINE, and DEANER - These compounds
are both basically safe and effective if not spectacular. I would add a few
notes though. Use caution with these if you have a history of epilepsy.
Choline may be more effective when taken with inositol. B6 is more effective
and better for you when taken in wide-spectrum mega-B vitamin supplements.
PHENYLALANINE is neurotoxic and can cause brain damage in about 2% of the
population [uploader's note: the 2% with the metabolic disorder PKU, that
is], and it's probably not good in large doses for anyone. TYROSINE on the
other hand is not toxic and is a more effective substitute. DEANER can be
made more effective by combining it with METHIONINE, but be cautious of
large doses of methionine if you have a history of psychosis. In addition,
there are other nutrients that are save and effective in increasing
psychological energy in most people, INOSINE, CYTOCHROME C, LYSINE, and
HYDERGINE - It is an ergot alkaloid, the same chemical class as LSD, but
with no psychedelic or immediate effects. It is currently prescribed to help
alleviate some of the symptoms of Alzheimer's disease, but, despite the
tremendous numbers of people with this affliction, Hydergine is not widely
used, mainly because it is only effective in about 1/3 of the people using
it. As a matter of fact it worsens cognition in about 1/3 of people. It is
dangerous to use in individuals with any history of psychosis, low or high
blood pressure, heart disease, pregnant women (at any point in pregnancy),
or a history of migraines. Hydergine has caused rashes, drug fever,
headaches, dizziness, vision problems, appetite loss, nausea, vomiting,
cramps, fainting, sluggishness, drowsiness, emotional withdrawal, apathy,
nervousness, hostility, confusion, depression, weakness, collapse, and coma.
EUPHORIA - The section on Euphoria is really in a muddle. First of all it is
not clear what Euphoria is. The chemical structure shown is the article is
MDA (methylenedioxy amphetamine), a drug rejected long ago by both
psychologists and users as inferior to MDMA (XTC); it is also Highly
Illegal. The other name given for Euphoria was 3,4-Methylenedimethoxy
Methamphetamine. This is an impossible chemical structure. Technically
speaking, a chemical structure can contain a methylenedioxy group or have 2
methoxy groups; there is no such thing as a methylenedimethoxy group. None
the less I can guess about Euphoria's toxicology from the effects R.U.Sirius
describes and the class of drugs to which he claims it belongs. Like crystal
methedrine it is almost certainly capable of precipitating paranoid
psychosis, even in psychologically stable people. Though Sirius noticed no
crash, he may have just been lucky. Amphetamines almost always have a crash.
In general they also create tremendously large egos, and over confidence, so
No judgement on mental improvement made by people under their influence can
be trusted. Finally Euphoria is relatively untested, both scientifically and
on the street. Its long and short term health effects are unknown by based
on its chemical structure it would not be unreasonable to expect it to cause
heart damage, brain damage, or cancer. I do not expect Euphoria to be any
better than Coke or Speed, in the long run. I don't mean to sound cruel or
cynical, but let some lab rats die before you put your neck on the line.
PEMOLINE is an interesting drug at the center of some current research.
Unfortunately, it is not known how the drug works. If it was, a safer
alternative could be found. Pemoline has caused fatal liver failure, still
births, La Tourette's Syndrome, seizures, hallucinations, uncontrollable
movements of the tongue, lips, face, eyes, and extremities, depression,
delirium, dizziness, irritability, headaches, drowsiness, insomnia,
anorexia, nausea, and cramps. Caution should be used when combining it with
any other drug because it is known to have strong dangerous interactions
with many drugs. Finally, pemoline, a controlled substance, is recognized by
the government as having an abuse/addiction liability.
PRL-8-53 - I could find no information on this, even in the most up to date
references. The fact that it still is referred to by its code number
probably means that it is still highly experimental; they may not even know
what its structure is yet. It might be safe, but you are playing
THA - This is potentially very dangerous. It is an acetylcholinesterase
inhibitor making its actions closely related to Nerve Gas, Pesticides and
Strychnine. BE CAREFUL!
I wish you all good luck in your quest for personal growth. I am sure in the
near future science will come up with many things to help you. Please do not
let enthusiasm interfere with accuracy and safety
Name withheld upon request
The previous letter is interesting in that the writer makes an
erroneous assumption about the structure of Euphoria based on an
erroneous and mislabeled diagram in the original R.U.Sirius article.
Euphoria is NOT related to the methamphetamine class of drugs as this
writer assumes! Euphoria IS however related to Pemoline (as R.U.Sirius
implies in the text of his article), so the warnings above about
Pemoline may well apply to Euphoria.
The writer of this letter also makes a wrong assumption about
PRL-8-53; namely, that it is so new that there's no info about it
available yet. At the end of this file, there's an article out of
"The Daily Breeze" Newspaper (which I don't have a date for, but it
was published in either 1980 or 1981) that explains the origin
Strangely, R.U.Sirius didn't identify the chemical structure of
PRL-8-53 either, even though he knew it was being investigated
by Durk Pearson!
Yet More Letters to the Editor in response to the R.U.Sirius article above.
From the Winter 1988 issue of "Whole Earth Review"
NO EUPHORIA ABOUT CHEMICAL STRUCTURE
In your Winter '87 issue, you ran an article by 'R.U.Sirius' entitled:
"May You Never Sleep" dealing with personal use(s) of experimental or FDA
licensed materials which your article collectively termed 'cognitive
enhancers.' Some of these are prescription only drugs, others come from
underground chemistry. Psychedelics generally have continued to receive
erroneous, confused & even hysterical press stemming from the LSD chromosome
scare of the mid-sixties through & into today's supposedly better informed
press & reporters having, among other things, computer technology to aid in
getting the facts straight. Or so one would think. Or at least hope.
However, I'm sorry to say that 'Whole Earth Review' has perpetuated this
same disregard for the facts of the matter not in one issue (Winter 1987)
but again in your Summer 1988 issue, surrounding the same subject - U4Euh
(Euphoria). In Sirius' original piece, he presented a completely False
chemical identification diagram re: U4Euh, showing instead that if MDA, a
completely different substance altogether. We all make mistakes, but Sirius
AGAIN put his foot in his mouth, appearing in the June issue of 'Whole Mind"
& calling U4Euh N-Methyl Aminorex, which is again false.
In the Summer WER there is a letter of rebuttal to Sirius' article which
attempted to once & for all (I suppose) set the facts straight, particularly
about U4Euh. Here again, an attempt at correction dis-information IN
ACTUALITY ends up spreading further myths surrounding U4Euh & psychedelics.
The letter writer states: "finally, U4Euh is relatively untested, both
scientifically & on the street, etc...."
OK. Let's get some facts straight & clear up a lot of confusion about this
substance U4Euh. U4Euh (4-Methyl Aminorex) was 1st discovered by a research
group headed by Georde Poos at McNeil Laboratory in Ft. Walsh, PA. in the
early 1960's. The 1st published report appeared in 'The Journal of Med.
Chem." in 1963  & several other patents were issued in Belgium, France &
the US [2,3,4]. Three other papers were published regarding U4Euh in 1963 &
In the mid 1980's, U4Euh was resurrected within the underground &
noncontrolled experiments were carried out on humans. The substance's new
spokesman was named The Friendly Stranger & samples were studied at, among
other places, the Continental Rainbow Gatherings. Both instructional manuals
as WELL as ongoing research results were distributed to those having
interest & concern about U4Euh & its effects.
There are two forms of U4Euh currently available via the underground - the
free-base & the hydrochloride. Prices range from $75 pre gram for the
hydrochloride upwards to $150 per gram for the most powerful free-base.
This substance (4-Methyl Aminorex) was placed on schedule I by the DEA & the
FDA in 1987. The resultant scheduling report presented by the DEA shows a
Death associated with its use (or abuse).
Unfortunately psychedelics or 'cognitive enhancers' remain the legendary,
obscurely attractive sources for 'bad press' - & are kept illegal - BECAUSE
false, misleading, obtuse or hysterical reporting (like that perpetuated in
your WER) outweighs the true facts of the matter.
I hope that author R.U.Sirius & WER continue to provide insightful articles
in the area(s) of drug use/abuse. However, some attempt must be made to
provide accurate reporting, especially in areas already worked over by too
much of the same.
Psychedelic Monographs and Essays
 Journal of Medicinal Chemistry 6, 266 (1963)
 Belgian Patent 628,803, June 16, 1963
 French Patent M2448, May 4, 1964
 U.S.Patents 3,161,650 Dec 15, 1964 and 3,278,382 Oct 11,1966
 Archives Int. Pharmacodyn. Ther. 164(2) 412-18 (1966)
 Journal of Pharm. & Experim. Therapeutics 140: 367-374 (1963)
 Ibid. 141:180-84 (1964)
 Journ. Clin. Pharmacology 7:296-302 (1967)
 Science 1982 218(457)487-490
 Annual Reviews of Med. Chemistry 1965 51-58 (1966)44-47
The above mentioned references were provided by
'Psychedelic Monographs & Essays' from an upcoming piece entitled:
"A Chemical and Pharmacological Review of Euphoria or Intellex"
by 'The New Age Chemist'.
This piece will appear in the Autumn 1988 (vol.4) issue of PM&E.
ANOTHER ALCHEMIST WHO AGREES
I read with interest the article in issue #57 on intelligence drugs by
"R.U.Sirius." I also read the same author's letter correcting the depicted
structure and identification of "Euphoria" in issue #58.
I too noticed that the chemical structure on page 58(#57) was that of
3,4-methylene dioxymethamphetamine (mistakenly spelled as "3,4-Methylene
Dimethoxy Methamphetamine"). while it was incorrectly labeled as "EUPHORIA."
The label was meant to say "chemically related to MDA." The label was
however, correct in stating that it was "Ecstacy."
In "Sirius's" letter (#58, page 140) correcting his article in issue #57, he
(?) states that "Euphoria is N-Methyl Aminorex and looks like this -
C6H5 O NH2
| || [uploader's note: THIS IS THE CORRECT U4EUH.]
Well, this structure is not that of N-Methyl Aminorex. It is correctly
called 4-Methyl Aminorex.
Aminorex has the structure:
[Diagram of Aminorex]
And the structure of N-Methyl Aminorex is as follows:
[Diagram of N-Methyl Aminorex]
I am not yet sure what the correct chemical structure of "Euphoria" is but I
am sure of the above information. Perhaps this will help clear up the
"Sirius," maybe you could try again to enlighten us? What is the correct
structure and name of "Euphoria"?
Article from "The Daily Breeze" newspaper, published around 1980 or 1981
Chemical Found to Improve Memory
OMAHA (AP) - Creighton University researchers say they have discovered an
organic chemical compound which apparently improves memory and intellectual
performance that normally deteriorate with aging.
Dr. Nikolaus Hansl, associate professor of medical chemistry and a member of
the team of scientists, said the compound, known as PRL-8-53, counters the
destruction of certain chemical pathways in the brain by "making up the
In a clinical study at Creighton, Hansl said, 58 college students performed
better on intellectual tasks when they were given the compound, which he
described as similar to an amino acid.
In another study published in 1978, researchers compared the compound's
effects on performance of college students with that of persons who were
The participants were asked to remember lists of "nonsense syllables,"
geometric objects and other tasks, Hansl said.
"The older group showed a 130% to 140% improvement in memory over the
college students," he said.
He said the effect of the compound lasted about seven hours, and added that
even after the effect faded, memory was better.
"Experiences from the past that were fading were recalled better" with no
detectable side effects, he said.
Hansl said the compound could help "the geriatric population - anyone over
30 - such as the elderly man who forgets his glasses or loses a thought in
midsentence. I would like to make them more self-sufficient."
Another use, he said, could aid those "in intellectual stress situations,
such as a businessman or student, to perform tasks better."
But Hansl added there have been no indications that people with brain damage
could benefit from the compound.
He said the research team is working on a related compound which could
produce even better results. They are now evaluating the clinical effects of
Hansl, who had been involved in the research project for more than 15 years,
said the chemical is one of a new group of compounds that were studied in
the search for a new tranquilizer that would not slow down intellectual
On the back of the above news clipping I wrote:
"PRL-8-53 is 3-(2-benzylmethylamino ethyl) benzoic acid methyl ester"
I don't recall where I found that piece of info, but I suspect it
was from an item in "Science News".
The Reader's Guide to Periodic Literature lists the following
reference to PRL-8-53:
"Learning and Memory Improvment Through Chemistry: Dream or Reality
in the Offing." (PRL-8-53) by Nicolas Hansl & A.B. Hansl
in the "Phi Delta Kappan" 61:264-5 December 1979
But I haven't been able to get a copy of that article yet.
Finally, the magazine "Reality Hackers/High Frontiers" which
R.U.Sirius edits is available from:
Fun City MegaMedia/Mondo 2000
PO Box 49271, Berkeley, CA 94704
And the "Whole Earth Review" is available from:
Whole Earth Review
PO Box 15187, Santa Ana, CA 92705-9913
NEW DRUGS THAT MAKE YOU SMART
by John Morgenthaler
from MONDO 2000 - issue #2
The term nootropic comes from the Greek word meaning "acting on the mind."
Since the invention of Piracetam by UBC laboratories in Belgium, other drug
companies have been scrambling to develop their own nootropics. Some of them
being researched now include; Vinpocetine, Aniracetam, Pramiracetam, and
Oxiracetam. As yet, there is no nootropic drug that is FDA approved for sale
in the United States, but there is plenty of motivation on the part of the
drug companies to get that approval - financial analysts expect the U.S.
market for cognitive enhancers - smart pills - to soon be in excess of one
billion dollars per year!
Nootropics are very interesting because of their lack of any demonstrable
toxicity. They are not, however, the only substances that increase
intelligence. There are over 30 chemicals that have been shown to improve
animal and/or human intelligence (learning and data processing of particular
types of tasks.) Here I propose to present a practical, drug-by-drug guide to
the use of the most interesting of these cognitive enhancement compounds, and
where you can get them.
Disclaimer: This article should not be interpreted as medical advice or an
attempt to encourage the use of cognitive enhancement dru... uh, compounds.
You must consult with a licensed physician for such medical advice. We don't
even want you to EXPERIMENT WITH THESE COMPOUNDS. Nor do we wish to imply, in
any way, that you should try to INCREASE YOUR INTELLIGENCE or MAKE YOURSELF
INTO A SUPERBEING. Heaven forfend!
CENTROPHENOXINE (Trade Name: Lucidril)
Centrophenoxine is an intelligence booster and also an effective anti-aging
therapy. It has been shown to cause improvements in various aspects of memory
function and a 30% increase in lifespan of laboratory animals.
One of the most widely recognized aspects of aging is the buildup of
lipofuscin in brain cells (lipofuscin is the stuff that age spots are made
of.) Centrophenoxine removes lipofuscin deposits from brain cells and reduces
its rate of accumulation in young brain cells. It also rejuvenates the
synaptic structure - the area where the actual transfer of information takes
place between nerve cells.
PRECAUTIONS: Centrophenoxine should not be used by persons who are easily
excitable, people with severe arterial hypertension, or those subject to
convulsions or involuntary musculoskeletal movements. The drug also should
not be used by nursing mothers. Adverse effects are rare, but include
hyperexcitability, insomnia, tremors, motion sickness, paradoxical
drowsiness, and depression. There is no toxicity of Centrophenoxine at
DOSAGE: Take 1000 to 3000mg per day. Centrophenoxine takes effect very
quickly. You'll notice an increase in alertness and a slight stimulating
SOURCES: Centrophenoxine is not sold in the United States. It can be
purchased over the counter in Mexico or by mail from the address below.
CHOLINE / LECITHIN:
Choline can be found in several forms including choline bitartrate, choline
chloride, or phosphatidyl choline. Phosphatidyl choline (PC) is the active
ingredient of lecithin. All of these forms of choline will produce memory
boosting effects, but PC has some unique effects as well.
Choline compounds, including PC, are able to pass through the blood-brain
barrier, where the brain utilizes the choline to make acetylcholine (a
neurotransmitter that plays an important role in memory). Thus, choline
enhances memory by increasing the amount of acetylcholine available for
memory and thought processes.
PC has some other important health benefits. It functions as a source of
structural material for every cell in the human body, particularly those of
the brain and nerves. It also aids in the metabolism of fats, regulates blood
cholesterol, and nourishes the fat-like sheathes of nerve fibers.
PRECAUTIONS: Any compound that acts like a precursor to acetylcholine such as
choline, PC, or DMAE should not be used by people who are manic depressive
because it can deepen the depressive phase. Choline bitartrate and choline
chloride can sometimes cause a fishy odor or diarrhea. PC, however, does not
have either of these effects.
DOSAGE: Take 3 grams of choline per day in three divided doses. If you're
taking lecithin you need to take a lot more because only part of the lecithin
is choline. Often the label will provide information on the quantity of
choline per tablespoon. All forms of choline should be taken with one gram
per day of vitamin B-5 so that the choline can be converted into
SOURCES: Choline and lecithin are considered nutritional supplements and can
be found at health food or drug stores. Commercial lecithin usually contains
other oils and phosphatides besides phosphatidyl choline. Look at the label
before you buy and make sure the product contains more than 30% phosphatidyl
choline. Also, you should taste your lecithin and make sure it does not taste
bitter (this indicates rancidity). Much lecithin on the market is rancid. The
best form of lecithin I know is Twin Labs brand "PC 55" - it contains 55% PC
and is always very fresh.
Dehydroepiandosterone (pronounced dee-hi-dro-epp-ee-an-dro-ster-own) is a
steroid hormone produced in the adrenal gland. DHEA is the most abundant
steroid in the human bloodstream. Research has found it to have significant
anti-obesity, anti-tumor, anti-aging, and anti-cancer effects. DHEA levels
naturally drop as people age and there is a good reason to think that taking
a DHEA supplement may extend your life and make you more youthful while
you're alive. Additionally, DHEA may be an important player in cognitive
DHEA is involved in protecting brain neurons from senility-associated
degenerative conditions like Alzheimer's disease. Not only does the neuronal
degenerative condition occur most frequently at the time of lowest DHEA
levels, but brain tissue contains more DHEA than is found in the bloodstream.
In an experiment with brain cell tissue cultures, Dr. Eugene Roberts found
that very low concentrations of DHEA were found to "increase the number of
neurons, their ability to establish contacts, and their differentiation."
DHEA also enhanced long-term memory in mice undergoing avoidance training.
Perhaps it plays a similar role in human brain function.
DOSAGE of DHEA ranges from 50 mg to 2000 mg per day. There is no solid
information indicating an optimal dosage for humans, but, if you want to get
serious, you can get your DHEA levels checked every few months (for about
$65), each time raising the amount of DHEA you take. When your blood levels
reach what is normal for a 20-year-old human, then you're taking enough.
SOURCES: DHEA is now being used by many people with AIDS because of its
immune enhancement and antiviral effects. DHEA is not FDA approved but AIDS
buyers groups are able to sell it to members because the FDA has a policy of
looking the other way when it comes to the activity of these groups. Try
contacting these buyer's groups: Alliance 7, 617/281-5360 in San Diego; or
Healing Alternatives Foundation, 415/626/2316 in San Francisco.
HYDERGINE (ERGOLOID MESYLATES):
Research in other countries has shown that Hydergine improves mental
function, prevents damage to brain cells, and may even be able to reverse
existing damage to brain cells. Hydergine acts in several ways to enhance
mental capabilities and slow down or reverse the aging processes in the
brain. Its wide variety of effects include the following:
1. Increases in blood supply to the brain.
2. Increases the amount of oxygen delivered to the brain.
3. Enhances metabolism in brain cells.
4. Protects the brain from damage during periods of decreased and/or
insufficient oxygen supply.
5. Slows the deposit of age pigment (lipofuscin) in the brain.
6. Prevents free radical damage to brain cells.
7. Increases intelligence, memory, learning and recall.
8. Normalizes systolic blood pressure.
9. lowers abnormal high cholesterol levels in some cases.
10. Reduces symptoms of tiredness, dizziness, and tinnitus (ringing in the
One way that Hydergine may enhance memory and learning is by mimicking the
effect of a substance called nerve growth factor (NGF). NGF stimulates
protein synthesis that results in the growth of dendrites in brain cells.
Dendrites facilitate communication throughout the central nervous system and
are necessary for memory and learning. New learning requires new dendritic
PRECAUTIONS: If too large a dose is used when first taking Hydergine. it may
cause slight nausea, gastric disturbance, or headache. Overall, Hydergine
does not produce any serious side effects, it is non-toxic even at very large
doses, and it is contraindicated only for individuals who have chronic or
DOSAGE: The US recommended dosage is 3 mg per day; however, the European
recommended dosage is 9 mg per day, taken in three divided doses. Most of the
research has been done at levels of 9 to 12 mg per day. It may take several
weeks before you notice the effects of hydergine.
SOURCES: Hydergine is available in the United States and you can buy it if
you have a doctor's prescription, but keep in mind that your doctor may not
be familiar with the uses I have discussed. It can also be purchased over the
counter in Mexico or by mail from overseas (see below).
Sulbutiamine is a new compound that has been described as being like
Hydergine only better. It has been shown to facilitate wakefulness, improve
long-term memory, speed up reaction time, decrease anxiety, and increase
overall resistance to stress.
DOSAGE: To combat fatigue take two 200mg tablets per day, always with
breakfast or an AM meal, for a period of 20 days. Do not exceed three tablets
at any time as this very powerful substance may cause severe headaches. Other
than this, Sulbutiamine has no known adverse side effects.
SOURCES: Sulbutiamine is not sold in the United States. It can be purchased
by mail order from the address below.
Vasopressin is a brain hormone that is released by the pituitary gland. It
improves attention, concentration, memory retention, and recall (both
short-term and long-term). Vasopressin facilitates more effective learning by
helping to "imprint" new information in the memory centers of the brain, a
function which cannot be achieved without the action of vasopressin.
Cocaine, LSD, amphetamines, Ritalin, and Cylert (pemoline) cause a release of
vasopressin. Frequent use of these drugs can deplete levels of vasopressin
with a result of making you slow and dopey. If you feel burnt out, a whiff of
vasopressin can transform your experience in about 10 seconds because it is a
direct application of the specific brain chemical that has been depleted.
Alcohol and marijuana, however, inhibit the release of vasopressin. A whiff
of vasopressin when using these drugs will compensate for much of the
dopiness caused by them.
Vasopressin is very useful in situation where there is a large amount of new
information to learn. It increases your ability to memorize and recall
specific factual information.
PRECAUTIONS: Vasopressin usually produces the following side effects: runny
nose, nasal congestion, itch or irritation of the nasal passages, headache,
abdominal cramps, and increased bowel movements. Vasopressin has not been
proven safe for use during pregnancy.
DOSAGE: Vasopressin usually comes in a nasal spray bottle. Most studies
showing memory improvement have been done with a dose of 12 to 16 USP per day
or about two whiffs three or four times per day. Vasopressin produces a
noticeable effect within seconds.
SOURCES: Vasopressin is available in the United States. You can buy it if you
have a doctor's prescription, but keep in mind that your doctor may not be
familiar with the uses I have discussed. It can also be purchased over the
counter in Mexico or by mail from overseas (see below).
Vinpocetine, like Piracetam, is a nootropic drug and a powerful memory
enhancer. It facilitates cerebral metabolism by improving cerebral
microcirculation (blood flow), stepping up brain cells' production of ATP
(the cellular energy molecule), increasing the brain's use of glucose, and
increasing the brain's oxygen utilization.
Vinpocetine is often used for the treatment of cerebral circulatory disorders
such as memory problems, aphasia, apraxia, motor disorders, dizziness, and
PRECAUTIONS: Adverse effects are rare, but include hypotension and
tachycardia. It has no drug interactions, no toxicity, and is generally very
DOSAGE: One or two 5 mg. tablets per day.
SOURCES: Vinpocetine is not sold in the United States. It can be purchased by
mail from the address below.
A little known FDA ruling now allows the importation of a three-month
personal supply of drugs as long as they are regarded as safe in other
countries. Ordering safe but unapproved drugs is now legal under the new FDA
pilot guidelines, Chapter 971. This compromise was made under pressure from
AIDS political action groups because the were being denied access to
potentially life-saving substances.
INTERLAB, a mail order pharmacy in England, was established in response to
this new FDA ruling. INTERLAB carries a wide variety of drugs for cognitive
enhancement, life extension, and the treatment of AIDS which are not
available in the United States. They even carry Retin-A for the skin.
All of the drugs I have discussed here can be purchased without a
prescription from them. You can request a price sheet by writing to:
INTERLAB, PO Box 587, Newport Pagnell, Bucks MK16 8AA, England. Their prices
are reasonable and, on some items, quite low. If you want to order right away
send a personal check for the amount of the item(s) you want plus $6 for
shipping (or $10 for accelerated shipping).
* Centrophenoxine (60 x 250 mg. tablets) $29
* Hydergine (100 x 5 mg. oral tablets) $39
* Piracetam (60 x 800 mg. tablets) $30
* Sulbutiamine (20 x 200 mg. tablets) $11
* Vasopressin (12 ml nasal spray) $22
* Xanthinol Nicotinate (60 x 150 mg. tablets) $9
You must include the following signed statement with your order:
"I hereby declare that the products I am purchasing are not
for commercial resale. They are for my own personal use only.
The supply ordered does not exceed three months usage and
they are used with the consent of my physician."
* Other cognitive enhancers include: xanthinol nicotinate, fenozolone
(Ordinator), idebenone, Ginko biloba, acetyl-1-carnitine, DMAE,
pyroglutamate, RNA (ribonucleic acid), isoprinosine, phenylalanine, phenytoin
(Dilantin), pemoline, Ritalin, vitamin B-12, ACTH 4-10, L-prolyl L leucyl
glycine amide, niacin, vitamin C, ginseng, GH3 (Gerovital), PRL-8-53,
R-58-735, ISF-2522, THA, metrazol and strychnine (the last two are very
dangerous). We will be reporting on some of the more exotic members of the
tribe in upcoming issues.
John Morgenthaler is the founder of the Cognitive Enhancement Research
Institute (CERI). Send communications to John Morgenthaler, CERI, PO Box 483,
Santa Cruz, CA 96061. If you would like a copy of the CERI newsletter, send
$1 (for handling) along with a self-addressed, stamped envelope.