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Memory/Concentration enhancing drugs

Has anyone here ever had an experiences with cognitive enhancers, such as Vasopressin, Hydergine, Pemoline, Lecithin, Choline and DHEA??

Do they work?

Someone pointed them out to me, but I am bit sceptical.


Tuesday, March 25, 2003

I use Gingko, two 60 mg tablets a day. Said to increase blood flow to the brain and to increase concentration powers and memory. My doctor says it doesn't affect blood pressure. I do think it helps, or it could be the "Placebin" talking. :-)

I wouldn't mess with anything any more "pharmeceutical" on a regular basis. I'm highly suspicious of the profusion of "all natural" crap out there. I had a teenaged family member collapse recently because she was taking the over the counter energy boost stuff (the stuff that athletes die in spring training from taking.)

Bored Bystander
Tuesday, March 25, 2003

Try chemo.  The French press claimed it helped Lance win the Tour de France.  Maybe it can help the average Joe.

Nat Ersoz
Tuesday, March 25, 2003

I wouldn't say drugs, but if you can define your own mnemonics or shortcuts that would imporve your memory. Thus it is not automatic, but you would be saved with anytype of side effect of the drugs.  Your shortcuts should be anything..
One effort would be try to construct hash of keys and values mentally. 

Tuesday, March 25, 2003

Caffeine has always worked well for me!

Jeff Hultquist
Tuesday, March 25, 2003


Nat Ersoz
Tuesday, March 25, 2003

No, not Botox! All the good information is stored in the wrinkles! :-p

Brad (
Tuesday, March 25, 2003

Personally, I use snakeoil and copper bracelets.  When I need an extra boost, I put on my aluminum-foil pyramid hat. If all that fails, I sacrifice a lamb and burn the entrails.

Or just see .

The bottom line: beware of shortcuts, get plenty of sleep, and exercise your brain.

Tuesday, March 25, 2003

Two huge "U shaped" magents with my head inbetween them.... keeps all my thoughts in flux

Tuesday, March 25, 2003

From personal experience, eating well (lotsa them proteins and stuff) good sleep and plenty of decent healthy exercise (gym) did wonders for my well being, concentration and work focus. Presumably it helped my memory, but I can't recall :P

Tuesday, March 25, 2003

This is not supposed to be a quick fix, but an aid.

I remember taking Creatine, and protein supplements in my body building days. Alone, they don't do much (they just make you fat), but with the right diet, rest, and exercise regime, they help build muscle.

Most of us drink alcohol as a social lubricant, or as someone put it, "To make other people more interesting"

A lot drink coffee to delay the setting in of fatigue.

All these drugs are supposed to do is help memory retention and concentration levels.

There are some sites on the net with 'testimonials'. Just wanted to find out what experiences any folk here might have had.


Tuesday, March 25, 2003

that second

Tuesday, March 25, 2003

Riding a bicycle to work and back every day can work wonders for your alertness and concentration.  And it's all-natural!  (Of course, that won't help you on days like today; it hailed here.)

Tuesday, March 25, 2003

Yoga, weight training, cardio, CAFFEINE...  nnito

Tuesday, March 25, 2003

Oh yeah, and a clear conscience!

Tuesday, March 25, 2003

Donuts and Coffee, baby!

... I'll be at the Krispy Kreme if you need me.

Joel Spolsky
Tuesday, March 25, 2003

Krispy Kreme Baaaah!

Timmies is the most addicti... er... effective substance known to man!

Krazy Kannuck

Tuesday, March 25, 2003

Yea! another cyclist!

Nat Ersoz
Tuesday, March 25, 2003

That reminds of the punch line of a very bad joke:

That's ok, I follow you in my Honda.

Tuesday, March 25, 2003

Third cyclist here too.

I agree you are pretty alert when you get in to work after a ride. 

Cycled in today, about half an hour.  I take my casual clothes in with me (they don't get too wrinkled on such a short ride), and wear a sweater kept at work overtop.

Cycling is like pizza... even when it's bad it's still good.

Btw, regular cycling really helps your cardio fitness (duh), no more huffing and puffing after climbing a few stairs.

Tuesday, March 25, 2003

In case you didn't know...  Very cool.

Nat Ersoz
Tuesday, March 25, 2003

I heard fish oil in powder or pill is good for memory

Tuesday, March 25, 2003

I find ambient music mp3s played very quietly helps alot.

Brian Eno's "Music for Airports" is great.

Matthew Lock
Tuesday, March 25, 2003

Meditation , diet, excercise, using your brain.

Prakash S
Tuesday, March 25, 2003

Orange Juice.



(not necessarily in that order.)

Tuesday, March 25, 2003

A couple people here have mentioned it ... does endurance training have a positive effect on concentration or cognitive ability?  I personally think so. 

I've known a few marathon runners and without exception, they were sharp intellectual types who were accomplished in their respective fields. 

I actually got into triathlon for awhile.  I found that a brisk morning swim workout or biking to work really made me feel sharp and alert.  Unfortunately, it's a fun but time consuming hobby that isn't all that compatible with being a professional software developer :(     

BTW ... a few people also mentioned creatine and caffiene. 

I hate sounding like a health freak, but really be cautious when taking these substances and enduro-training at the same time.  They aren't dangerous, but they do dehydrate the body, especially when used in combination.  What's bad about it is that thirst is often a very poor indicator of body dehydration; muscles just start to lock and spaz in weird ways.  Drink lots of liquids! 

Immature programmer
Wednesday, March 26, 2003

I'm really missing my bike ride into work.

I now have to drop the little one of at the child minders, so I have to use the car.

Concentration is apalling and I'm getting really fat.

Ged Byrne
Wednesday, March 26, 2003

I'll probably get flamed from here to eternity for this, but I've found Ephedra to be a pretty powerful focus-enhancing substance.

I find that when I was younger, I could enter the "flow" state (or groove, or whatever you want to call it) pretty easily.  Nowadays, it's harder to get into that state and stay there without distracting myself.  With ephedra, I'm not overtly affected, but it gets me back to the condition where I can get into flow as well as I could before, and it doesn't seem to screw with judgement or rational thought at all.

Is it dangerous?  Probably, which is why it's getting harder to find.

I've actually done some of my own double-blind testing (on myself), and it definitely has an effect.  I took unmarked doses of a supplement that has both an ephedra-based and an ephedra-free version.  Although there are a few other minor differences between the two, I'm confident to a reasonable degree that the differences aren't substantive enough to affect the outcome.

Tim Lesher
Wednesday, March 26, 2003


You should consider getting one of these:

Wednesday, March 26, 2003

Thanks Tim.

Wednesday, March 26, 2003

Hydergine works well for me. Choline didn't do much.
I haven't tried the others. Try
for more information.

Wednesday, March 26, 2003

I use a tinfoil helmet I made to keep the brain waves in . It also keep "them" from reading my brain waves. You have to use two layers to assure both sides are shiny.

Wednesday, March 26, 2003

---"I use a tinfoil helmet I made to keep the brain waves in"---

What brain waves?

Stephen Jones
Wednesday, March 26, 2003

If you have signifigant memory or concentration problems, you may have something medically wrong, you know.  Like ADD, a nutritional imbalance, a sleep disorder, etc.  ADD's not just for kids, you know.

Getting some, but not enough, sleep has been shown to cause problems with memory and mental ability without making you dead tired.

And the prescription drugs to treat a legitimate concentration problems are much more reliable and understood than weird suppliments.

flamebait sr.
Wednesday, March 26, 2003

I always find that remembering and concentrating on interesting things helps my memory and concentration.

optimistic coder
Wednesday, March 26, 2003

Please don't be taking Ephedrine. Although it is an excellent drug for treament of breathing disorders, it is also a powerful drug that is NOT safe even though it is naturally found. It is one that interacts badly with MAO and other counterindicated drugs and will easily KILL someone with heart problems, hypertension or high blood pressure. It is also addictive and if taken with caffeine becomes extremely addictive. If addicted you are likely to increase your dose until you die since ephedrine is also a poison. It should only be taken for short periods of time, only for approved uses (respiratory problems) and only under the oversight of a medical professional. Taking it under any other circumstances is just plain stupid. And after they drag your lifeless body out of your cubicle, the FDA will have no choice but to finalize banning it which will mean people with respiratory disorders will be deprived of a useful drug that is appropriate for treating their ailment.

I hate this. We spend millions lobbying the FDA, explain that people CAN be trusted to use these natural treatments responsibly, and then we see PROGRAMMERS who are obviously not IQ 84 weightlifters abusing these drugs and it starts to look like the FDA is right - the public can NOT be trusted to use these things responsibly. We will have to make these controlled substances available only by paying a doctor $150 for a visit, a diagnoses and a prescription.

X. J. Scott
Wednesday, March 26, 2003


Don't really want to get into this here, but abuse or not, its my life.

All I can hope that you do is let me know of the hazards and potential downsides or indeed upsides.

Whether I choose to, or how I intend to use the drug should be my choice. My life, my choice.

Thursday, March 27, 2003

Liable to kill people with certain conditions, poisonous in large doses, extremely addictive.

Tapiwa, I think XJ has already explained the dangers to you.

Ged Byrne
Thursday, March 27, 2003

Ged, don't get me wrong. I am not disputing X.J's conclusions on the effects of the drug.

I am just concerned by his sentiments that "the public can NOT be trusted to use these things responsibly." and that the GOVT should by extension legislate these and decide under what conditions they can and cannot be used by a grown adult on himself.

Thursday, March 27, 2003

[What brain waves? ]

I am on to you. I know all about your connection with "them".

Seriously though, I am just trying to lighten the mood a little. I harbor no ill will toward you or your cause to free the world from the dangers of thinking.

Thursday, March 27, 2003


Trusting people means letting them live with the
consequences of their own actions. If the information
is out there and people die it's no business of yours or
the government.

Thursday, March 27, 2003

valraven. It's the rest of us who have to live with the consequences of drug abuse, as well as the abuser. Just ask someone who's been robbed by a heroin addict.

Your opinion sounds like "its not fair mommy, why can't i eat more sweets, i hate you" taken to it's (il)logical conclusion.

Thursday, March 27, 2003

Have you been robbed by a nicotine addict yet??

People steal to fund their drug habits because drugs are disproportionately expensive.

Drugs are expensive because they are illegal (risk premium).

Drugs are illegal because some politician sitting in his office decided that they conflicted with his morals, and therefore were a bad thing, and that noone should therefore be allowed to take them.

Now he tells us that they are illegal because people rob you to fund their drug habits.

That is bad logic. Very bad logic. More in the same genre.
Tom: Do you believe in God?
Bob: Yes
Tom: Why?
Bob: Becuase it says so in the Bible
Tom: Why do you believe everything written in the Bible?
Bob: Because it is the word of God!

"Government is good at one thing. It knows how to cripple you, hand you a crutch, and then tell you that you couldn't walk without government."
-- Harry Browne

Friday, March 28, 2003


It's well established that the government is looking to ban ephedra. Why should this be? It is because people are abusing it. And then they die. Most people taking it are not your typical heroin addict. They hear about how it is great for weight loss, and now apparently 'focus enhancement' and don't hear much of anything about the risks or the fact it can be addictive. The weight loss companies are perfectly aware that adding caffeine makes it more addictive -- that's why they add caffeine. That moves them out of the reasm of legitimate health supplement maker and into the realm of drug pusher. Another marketing tactic used is to push the idea that because it is 'natural' it is somehow 'safe'. Of course arsenic, cynanide, nicotine and opium are also natural...

Now all your arguments don't change the fact that if it continues to be abused it will be banned. And then people who legitimately need it (folks with breathing troubles) and use it responsibly in a safe manner will not be able to get it anymore. At this point it becomes tapiwa who is acting to deprive others of a effective herb because he is nuts about abusing his own body. Look, abuse your own body if you must. But don't tell others that ephedra is safe when it is not. And don't sue the herb maker when you get a heart attack. And do tell your mother not to be testifying in court about the loss of her son because of the wicked herbalists from which he procured the ephedra. Keep it your own dirty business and leave. Above all, don't act to ensure that those who are using ephedra safely and responsibly are deprived of a useful and valuable drug just because you want to party all night and code all day.

And Tim Leher - it is exceptionally irresponsible of you to promote a dangerous substance without FULLY informing of the risks. Promote it if you must - but fully inform of the risks. To do less is tantamount to murder.

X. J. Scott
Friday, March 28, 2003

I, personally, have never been robbed by a nicotine addict. Lots of shops do get robbed, though.

Apart from that, your argument is quite the normal twisted logic we've come to expect. I get the feeling that if a government told you not to stick your hand in the fire, you'd try it anyway because governments don't have any right to tell you what to do regarding hands and fires.

Wheras you could, hey, the government (and the people who voted for them on the strength of their hand in fire policies) might know what they're talking about because they've seen what happens when people stick their hand in the fire.

But no, that doesn't make sense, does it? Because it precludes you from doing exactly what the hell you like, even if it is selfish, destructive and disruptive to those around you.

Saturday, March 29, 2003

Maybe then we can outlaw all the other  consequences.
Cars are the first to go. Free speach has a lot of nasty
consequences. Not liking the consequences is a very
poor reason for making laws. Maybe we should try to
make laws based on principles. I have great faith that
we can deal with the consequences because we do it
all the time.

Sunday, March 30, 2003

Tim is not being irresponsible. I was asking for people's opinions and experiences with the said drugs.

You are saying no no. Tim is saying he has found it useful. He cites some of the hazards.

Me grown up, so I will check things out and then decide if the potential benefits are worth the risk.

Sunday, March 30, 2003

Cars aren't illegal, but reckless driving is. This is so we, as a society, don't like the consequences of arrogant, reckless bastards who believe they can drive around residential areas at 90mph because they believe they are 'good drivers'. This despite the volumes of evidence you'll find laying in any hospital ward, on mortuary slabs or in obiturary columns.

Free speech is allowed, but inciting violence is not. This is to protect society from crazy, arrogant nutcases who think that immigrants, for example, are the root of all our problems (despite having access to the same information as the rest of us - they simply choose to ignore the parts they don't want to hear).

So maybe, generally, our laws are based on the principle that it's best to at least try to restrain people from hurting themselves and others.

But lets forget all that for the moment - decriminalise drugs. Then whoop for joy as the newly formed Heroin Marketing Board buries all the balanced information in a torrent of advertising, pushing the stuff to us every waking hour. Then when the adult market is saturated, they'll push it to teenagers and younger on every Saturday morning TV slot because children are pretty sophisticated these days after all - they can make informed decisions.

I'm sure this scenario would sort itself out given a few years - and after all what do a few more dead people matter? Not much, it would seem, when the real issue is the fact that a few selfish whiners want the laws lifted so they can experiment without the (minor, seeing as you're so clever and adult) worry of getting into trouble with the law.

Monday, March 31, 2003

The act of just taking drugs is reckless? If so then
the act of driving is by definition reckless.

Tuesday, April 1, 2003

"But Lisa, that's why we have government officials, so we don't have to think."
--  Homer Simpson

Friday, April 4, 2003

tapiwa, regarding the legalization of drugs issue.  I and my Wife are currently raising our 6 year old niece because her sister is a Cocaine addict.  Statistically most child abuse happens when drugs and alcohol are involved.  Do you think I want to see drugs legalized?  How may people's lives have to be screwed up before people realize that Hey! drugs are BAD for society?

Greg Kellerman
Thursday, April 10, 2003

greg, the likes of tapiwa are far too selfish to care about your neice. they even go as far as disguising their selfishness as some positive political imperative. which is pretty evil, don't you think?

Thursday, April 10, 2003

"That's why we have Rupert Murdoch and a cartoon series on his Fox TV network, so we don't have to think." - Me

Friday, April 11, 2003

Okay.  This all started with Ephedrine.  Some people can take it and some people can't.  Period.  I came to this web site to find out about how I can increase my memory and concentration.  I've tried Ephedrine and can't take it.  So I quit.  End of story.  That person is only sharing what works for them.  Can we get on with other comments on "memory/concentration" now please? 

Thursday, June 26, 2003

I personally have taken ephedra (in Hydroxycut), and it worked wonders for my memory and physical state of energy.

Now, I'll give you the downside of my ephedra days.

I had to stop taking it because one night after taking
2 Hydroxycut pills, and working out for 1 1/2 hours, I
went home to relax on the couch and all of a sudden
I couldn't breathe, had chest tightness, numbness in
my left arm and severe dizziness.

Short of passing out, my husband called 911.  When
they got to my house, they didn't know what in the
world could be going on in the body of a healthy 32
year old woman with a great family and 3 healthy

My blood pressure, normally 100/60, had risen to
160/120 and my heart rate was 103 with palpitations.
They rushed me to the ER and had to put me on IV
with meds to help flush my system of the Hydroxycut.

Since I have stopped taking Hydroxycut (Oct. 2002), I
have NO energy, NO concentration and am experiencing
chronic memory loss.  Wow, if I had only known about
the dangerous after effects beforehand.

I am still a UNIX programmer, but there are so many days
where I cannot do this job without help.

Thanks for listening.

kara patterson
Friday, June 27, 2003

What did I want to say???

Snoop ummm I Forget
Saturday, June 5, 2004

The key to good memory is sleep.I'm not talking about a couple of hours a night,you need at least 7 hours a night of uninterupted lights out sleep.If you are like me you probally have difficulty falling,and staying asleep.I take all kinds of sleep enhancing drugs.My favorite choice is ambien and ativan.This combo of hard to obtain drugs provides just the right mix of sedatives.If you want concentration call your doctor and tell him you can't sleep,and are experanceing anxiety.This should help you.

Michael smith
Wednesday, August 11, 2004

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