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  1.  (1740.81)
    That delayed panic response... can it be avoided by switching to a very different strain?

    Eh, doubtful, but I haven't seen any research on it.

    Are there branches of nootropics that are more effective for the ADHD brain?

    Piracetam, acetylcholine precursors like DMEA and deanol, hydergine/ergoloid, they all have a basis in some practices. There's some preliminary evidence on all of them, but like most psychoactive drugs the literature goes back and forth, and drawing any firm conclusion is always sketchy because of the particulars of whatever study we're referencing. Even with neurotypicals it's a crap shoot, so there's no firm promises about people with ADHD and/or other comorbid disorders. Piracetam seems to be the one with the most backing, followed up by ergoloids and acetylcholine precursors.

    Struggling with this or that medication or even a full family of medications doesn't mean you should abandon the idea of drug/supplement therapies, and continuing to search for therapies sure as hell doesn't mean that you're "setting yourself up for a lifetime of trial and error just so you can be a regular white-collar office drone and not annoy people too much." So stay strong, play around a bit, and try to ignore the rhetoric on either side.
    •  
      CommentAuthorstsparky
    • CommentTimeMay 2nd 2010
     (1740.82)
    Rae - ADHD meds that worked for me were Ritalin and Stratera . Adderall and me didn't mix. I'm glad it works for you. Note:
    FDA does still advise that children should not take Adderall if they have:

    * A heart defect
    * Other heart problems, including high blood pressure, and heart or blood vessel disease
    * Overactive thyroid
    * Glaucoma
    * A history of drug abuse
    * Depression and are taking, or have recently stopped taking, an Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitor (MAOI), such as Nardil (phenelzine sulfate), Parnate (tranylcypromine sulfate), Marplan (isocarboxid), and other brands.
  2.  (1740.83)
    If you’re really having trouble dealing with ADHD medication you’re probably better off reading up on ways to structure your life so that you can just manage your ADHD without medication. You don’t have to set yourself up for a lifetime of trial-and-error pharmacology and psychiatry just so you can be a regular white-collar office drone and not annoy people too much.

    @ JamesPuckett: I at no point said I was having trouble dealing with ADHD medication. I'm looking to possibly find a way to deal with my inability to think outside my cluttered mind, and possibly correct my brain to the point that I can learn to use my eyes together instead of seeing everything in a chaotic shifting mess. Just managing my ADHD without medication clearly isn't working. I'm not striving to turn myself into a cubicle slave, i'm trying to find a way to possibly read a book, or finish a painting, or watch a movie, or be able to lose myself in a romantic moment. I've been resisting the notion of medication for a very long time, but discovering the link between ADHD and optic convergence issues has become the last straw. The neurological/brain disorders that run in my family are all comorbid with ADHD. I see this as a hereditary physical impairment, not an emotional disorder, and not me trying to turn myself into a prozac drone.

    @ atavistian: Looking for more information I came across this messageboard thread. It seems to be most of the same information as I've read here, but I thought some of you might appreciate the perspective of someone else successfully experimenting in this way. The fellow who started the thread seems to have been diagnosed with ADHD, and put on Adderal, but didn't feel it was an accurate diagnosis, so I don't suppose I can use his results to indicate the kind of results I might have.

    Looking through more of that forum, I see pycnogenol is recommended by many for ADHD, which seems to be considered a nootropic by many (primarily and antioxidant but with cognitive effects). I'd not seen it mentioned here previously.

    @ stsparky: I really thought Stratera was an allergy pill until just now. It's fabulous to know that Stratera is not a stimulant. (I'd thought that Ritalin and Adderal were nearly identical.) I guess you didn't suffer the many side effects Stratera is reported to have? Was the result profound? Have you tried any of the other nootropics mentioned previously in this thread, as well?
  3.  (1740.84)
    So how much does the brain need to be enhanced? I think it's good to realize why people are doing this: is it to be happier with oneself, or is it to please others? Because we all need to be winners in our society?

    For people who are using this, is it going to be a lifelong habit, or is it more a recreational thing?
    •  
      CommentAuthorstsparky
    • CommentTimeMay 3rd 2010
     (1740.85)
    Rae? My preference is chocolate and coffee - ritalin has the best track record for me. Things will work different for you regardless.
    •  
      CommentAuthorFinagle
    • CommentTimeMay 3rd 2010 edited
     (1740.86)
    Re: ADHD, purpose of nootropics

    I'm finding this to be a mixed bag, overall. I've always been attracted to stimulants, but they aren't always *good* for me. I realized this after a couple of nights of getting a little ahead on one of my prescriptions led to a couple of all-night sessions which turned out after the fact to be far less necessary or effective than I thought in the middle of it. "Speedy" drugs just tended to make me feel bold and energetic, and while I wasn't wasting a lot of time waffling, I found I was often just making bad decisions faster.

    When I'm getting the most out of my nootropic stack, I'm overall more consciously alert and able to actively manage things. However, I have found that the stack doesn't do much to increase passive attention or outright decrease forgetfulness. How does this help? Concretely, I'm much more likely to remind myself of a task by actually taking the time, at the moment it comes up, to set an alarm, write it down or otherwise deal with it, instead of just shoving it to the back of my mind to become forgotten. The nootropics themselves don't seem, to me, to actually increase deep retention so much as parallel processing power. I can't really juggle more things in my head or remember them without writing them down, but I am much more willing to take the necessary steps to deal with it. Distractability and focus are still issues, but I'm better able to cope.

    I often think of the Thomas Covenant character from Stephen Donaldson's fantasy series - as a leper, he had no natural feeling in his limbs, and was forced to resort to a technique called "visual self examination" to check himself periodically for injury. Nootropics help enable my mental equivalent of this for ADHD, giving me more of an ability survey the state of things without either feeling invincibly speedy or so relaxed that I'm couch-locked. ADHD has been termed (by somebody I can't recall) a disorder of *motivation* more than actual cognitive ability or activity level, and this description feels right to me. Like Powder Milk Biscuits, the supplements help support my willingness to Go Out and Do What Needs To Be Done.

    For myself, I consider this to be a lifestyle or regimen similar to diabetes care. I'm sure I'll be taking treatments such as this for my effective lifetime until or unless something better comes along, or at least as long as I'm working in the IT consulting field, where the sheer number and rapid pace of changing information does play to my cognitive strengths as well as weaknesses.

    ----
    * Humans can't really multitask like computers, so I use the term advisedly.
  4.  (1740.87)
    Regarding Piracetam, what brand would the users on the board recommend? I'm reasonably convinced of its safety and effectiveness from what I've read, but I want to make sure that I'm shelling out money for the real thing.
    •  
      CommentAuthorFinagle
    • CommentTimeMay 9th 2010 edited
     (1740.88)
    Start with this to try it out:

    Nooracitam

    I get free shipping (American, domestic 2-day) on some stuff with Amazon Prime, and now order it in bulk:

    Piracetam

    Make sure you get choline with it as well. I started with this:

    Choline

    In general I find Source Naturals to be a quality provider of the other miscellaneous supplements mentioned such as L-Huperzine or Vinpocetine, as well as vitamins per se.
    • CommentAuthoratavistian
    • CommentTimeMay 18th 2010
     (1740.89)
    Wanted to share a bit of a side-experiment I'm in the midst of. As I posted earlier, I'm taking both piracetam and choline (the latter in DMEA bitartrate form, which gets converted into choline). I wanted to play around with the choline a little; normal dose is up to 1gm/day and I've just been taking 750mg (250mg three times a day). Now, one of the more prominent biological theories of dreaming states that the brain stem activates and the neurotransmitter acetylcholine (of which choline is a precursor) surges and activates random bits of memory and the memory of stimuli. The forebrain tries to make some sort of sense of this memory-tsunami and thus a dream is born.

    I don't buy this particular theory myself, since I put a bit more stock in the content of dreams, but it's interesting nonetheless. And well, since I'm taking choline already and have some wiggle room in the conventional dose I decided, "Why not fuck around a bit?". So I started taking another 250mg of the choline right before I go to sleep (around 7-7:30 AM). Now, my relationship with dreams is fraught with intensity and intrigue already. I have long, intense and incredibly involved and developed dreams that often sound like story plots or movies when I'm spelling them out. I've also worked with a few different methods of dream manipulation put forward by licensed analysts, therapists, and cranks alike. So I've got a very deep history with dreaming, to say the least.

    This past morning represented Day 3 of my little choline side-experiment. And all three times I've had dreams that easily rival the most intense ones I've ever had. Often I have at least a weak recognition that I'm in a dream but there was none of that with these. I was in, and stuck, and intensely goddamn deep with no clue that it wasn't real. Three nights (days, I guess, for you sun-worshippin' folk) in a row, which is rare for me. All the kind of dreams where you wake up and have to lay in bed and gain your bearings slowly, like you've recohered to a different reality than the one you were just in for hours or days or centuries.

    Intense enough that I'd liken the dreams to a very, very muted form of how McKenna describes the DMT experience. Maybe.

    Don't know how much interest there is here in nootropics and dreaming, but figured I'd share.
    •  
      CommentAuthorcelan
    • CommentTimeMay 19th 2010
     (1740.90)
    @atavistian
    Interesting. I've had weird dream experiences when taking other memory-stimulating agents. Also, has anyone here tried GABA before bed? I thought it changed the intensity/quality of my dreaming.
    •  
      CommentAuthorFinagle
    • CommentTimeMay 19th 2010
     (1740.91)
    I've had some similar experiences, but I've been irregular enough in my mix and dosage that I haven't really tried to track it. I do know that I regularly got such effects from melatonin and wound up disliking the effects, back in the 90's when it first got popular.

    I might try to keep track of it, though, because 95% of the time I am consciously dreamless. I usually only remember a dream if I'm right in the middle of it, and I seem to only hit good REM at the very tail end of 7-8 hour sleep shift, and I've been getting only 6 lately. When I do have such a dream, it is generally so vivid that I have a difficult time waking fully, and walk around in a fog very similar to a bad hangover for a half hour or more after waking before I am convinced everything is fully real. I tend to find that so disconcerting that I don't tend to encourage it.

    I'm going to give it a shot though. I have changed up my stack and am going to be tapering off piracetam, as I'm getting to the bottom of that bulk tub, and am going to switch it out for a month, then change up to one of the better -racetams.

    Right now I have simplified things down to:

    "Focus Formula" supplement by Windmill Vitamins.
    This has more or less everything but the -racetam that was in my previous stack:
    - Vitamin C
    - Vitamin E
    - B complex
    - lecithin (metabolizes into choline)
    - DMAE
    - DHA
    - Eleuthero root, ginkgo, kola leaf
    - Vinpocetine
    - Huperzine-A

    The deal above was pretty good, and the quality and dosage seem comparable to what I was getting with all of the above separately.

    - Alpha GPC for additional choline
    - Zoom energy supplement, which has a ton more of B complex, mate and ginseng
    - Same stuff as before for the multivitamin, omega fish oil, and glucosamine
    • CommentAuthoratavistian
    • CommentTimeMay 19th 2010
     (1740.92)
    Finagle: as silly as it may sound, one of the most effective ways to remember your dreams is to create a strong intention to do so before you go to sleep. Once you lay down, immediately before you go to sleep, create the conscious intent to remember your dreams. I tend to go "I'm going to sleep, I'm going to dream, and I'm going to remember my dreams." I know it may sound like a bunch of hippie crap, but intentionality is pretty powerful in this context.

    Oddly enough, I haven't had similar experiences on melatonin in terms of effects on dreaming.

    Your regimen sounds like a more extended version of mine, really. Any thoughts on what you're going to replace piracetam with?
    •  
      CommentAuthorFinagle
    • CommentTimeMay 29th 2010
     (1740.93)
    Nothing as of yet. I've currently just reduced piracetam to a morning dose, while using the Focus Formula for the rest of the day. So far the results are acceptable, but I'm still considering sourcing one of the newer -racetam formulations while trying to eliminate any explicit stimulants such as the various caffenoid and ephedra derivatives.

    Basically, I'd love to sort out whether there is a purely brain-boosting effect from the -racetams aside from any general stimulant effect, but I like my energy boost too much to give it up for Science.
    •  
      CommentAuthorFinagle
    • CommentTimeAug 14th 2010 edited
     (1740.94)
    Back on the Piracetam after a break, and it is working well in combination with this B-complex plus choline from Swanson Health. Amazingly cheap source, and I've been very happy with the product. Highly recommended as a source of choline, multivitamins and the other supplements as part of your stack. I've also been finding NOW Foods to be a good source of cheap supplements as well. A large number of their products are 50% off or 2-for-1 currently on Amazon. The Primaforce bulk piracetam is still half off as well, and free shipping with Prime.

    But the Swanson B-stress really is outstanding. A hefty dose of B-complex and C, plus 50 mg. of both Choline and Inositol and 25 of PABA, in a capsule so it hasn't been heated and pressed, well packaged, cheap, and great service.
  5.  (1740.95)
    oy! Hey, maybe you lot have some ideas for me.

    Lyme Disease. Brain swelling. Vision issues. Any advice?
    •  
      CommentAuthorFinagle
    • CommentTimeAug 14th 2010 edited
     (1740.96)
    Did you get anything more out of that eye-rolling thread in the piracetam forum? I thought that was promising.

    There's something in there about hemispheral communication and the corpus callosum. One theory behind the operation of piracetam is that it enables greater bicameral communication by upping the bandwidth of the corpus callosum, as it were. A few of your issues - left/right distinction, asymmetrical perception - sound like they're up that alley.
  6.  (1740.97)
    Well, the piracetam is something I've been meaning to try, and many of the basic supplements I already take (as far as Ginko, Gingo Vitale 3 was always my FAVORITE, and it's very pretty), but I'm a bit strapped at the moment to indulge in the financially non-neccessary.

    Right now, I've got this really terrible perpetual headache, and it seems my Lyme Disease is resurfacing. I've ordered three month's supply of antibiotics to hold me over until I can see a Lyme specialist (booked up until October), but I thought there might be something ELSE I could do in the meantime. Lyme is an infection that attacks the brain and makes it swell, and I've already got a bits sticking out formen magnum, so this ends up hurting quite a bit. Is there anything that helps combat inflammation specifically in the brain?
    •  
      CommentAuthorFinagle
    • CommentTimeAug 14th 2010 edited
     (1740.98)
    You might try Huperzine A, which is in my stack:
    Huperzine A, is a naturally occurring sesquiterpene alkaloid compound found in the plant firmoss Huperzia serrata.[1]
    Huperzine A is an Acetylcholinesterase inhibitor similar to other compounds donepezil, rivastigmine, and galantamine.
    In the US Huperzine A is sold as a dietary supplement for memory support. The botanical has been used in China for centuries for the treatment of swelling, fever and blood disorders. Clinical trials in China has shown it to be effective in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease,[2] and has been shown to enhance memory in healthy young students in one study.[3]

    --
    The link between anti-inflammatory action and brain and cognitive support would seem like a match for you. This is a good reliable source: Swanson Huperzine A. Very cheap. Consult with your doctor, etc.

    It is generally regarded as safe and well-tolerated. You will also want a choline supplement to avoid any side-effects due to choline depletion - headache being the primary symptom. The B-complex I mentioned above is a good source; also any generic lecithin or whey protein supplement will break down into choline.
  7.  (1740.99)
    EXCELLENT!!!!! Thank you thank you thank you.
  8.  (1740.100)
    OK, how's this sound to you?

    I already take C, B complex, D, E, Biotin, Fish Oil, Saw Palmetto, joint formula (Glucosamine, Chondroiton, etc etc), CoQ10, Metformin,

    So, to that, I'll add:

    Piracetam powder
    200mg Huperzine A
    Cats Claw
    Wormwood
    Olive Leaf
    1,200 mg Lecithin

    That Swanson site is GREAT!

    (I'm putting myself in debt with this, but I'm sort of afraid of what Lyme Disease can do to damage my already wonky brain)

    Is there a certain type of Magnesium that is better?