Wednesday, August 6, 2008

"Smart Drugs" & the Aging Brain

by Ben Best
A life-extensionist is concerned with survival -- of the body, of the self -- and, in particular, of the brain. But beyond resisting the destruction & degeneration of the brain there looms also the possibility of regeneration & perhaps even augmentation. The "Smart Drug Movement" implies that this is possible -- and possible now.

I have several personal problems with "Smart Drug" people. Many of these individuals are the same people with whom I was arguing 20 years ago over the value of LSD, marijuana and other "recreational drugs" for enhanced creativity. I have seen several individuals devolve into intellectual dysfunction from brain-dissolving neurochemical pleasures. Even alcohol can promote a sense of one's own capabilities which is unrelated to reality. People who attempt to take a substance and try to judge it's effects must be aware that the substance may not only be influencing the experienced effects, but the very judgement of those experienced effects.

Here I review the subject of "Smart Drugs", referring to the most popular (to my knowledge) books on the subject: MIND FOOD & SMART PILLS by Ross Pelton (1989), SMART DRUGS & NUTRIENTS by Ward Dean & John Morgenthaler (1990) and SMART DRUGS II by Dean, Morgenthaler and Fowkes (1993) -- all paperback editions. What is presented here is mostly based on my remembered information and what is in these books, so readers should take what I say with a "grain of salt". I may write a more scientific analysis once I know more about neurochemistry. Continue Reading >>

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