Do memory pills exist?
Memory is a vital part of our brain and lives. Everybody who has had short-term amnesia can acknowledge this. Our memory is the glue that connects events together, otherwise we would live with a consciousness of continunous “awakening”. Seen from a longer time interval our memory makes it possible to come up with names, events and associations from the past.
The quality of our memory can have a strong effect on the quality of our lifes. When you can remember things, you can connect more in your mind and make better decisions. A better memory allows you to come up with information and ideas without needing back-up information, books etc. A better memory allows you to remember music tunes easier and hence play music better.
What possibilities are there for a pill to improve your memory? Seen from a neural perspective memory can be seen as two parts, one being consolidation, the other one being retrieval. Both are interrelated, when consolidation is better, retrieval is easier. Memory consolidation is a reflecion of neural plasticity. The fundamental basis of memory in the brain is unknown but it has to do with the connections between neurons. Whenever new information is stored connections in the brain are changed, when information is stored better these connections are strengthened. The change of connections, also called neural plasticity is influenced by neurotransmitters, especially acetyl-choline. Acetyl-choline is known to have an effect on neural processes during learning and decision making. Blocking acetyl-choline with so called acetyl-choline antagonist is known to cause amnesia, they can be called “dumb drugs”. On the other hand boosting acety-choline has been related to improvement of memory. So how can we boost acetyl-choline levels?
Acetyl-choline is an ester of choline and acetic acid. Choline is taken throug food and considered a B-vitamin. When we take large quantities of choline it doesn’t necessarily boost acetyl-choline levels in the brain. Choline will have to be converted in acetyl-choline and cross the blood-brain barrier. So we need another method for this. One method is to take a special precursor of acetyl-choline called Alpha-GPC. Alpha-GPC is known to rapidly cross the blood-brain barrier. Due to its expense Alpha-GPC is rarely found in dietary supplements but can be found in NZT.1 by Paneuromix. Up-to-date there are no studies on the effet of Alpha-GPC in healthy adults, but many case studies and anecdotes show an impressive effect of this substance. Paneuromix will contribute in future to the scientific study of Alpha-GPC on memory.