Is there anything more valuable to you than your brain? Think about it, without it you wouldn’t exist, and without it we would never have come anywhere close to experiencing the success we have as a species on this planet. Rising to the top of the food chain; populating most of the earth’s surface; space travel etc. The accomplishments of the human race are all thanks to these weird and wonderful bio-computers bobbing about on our shoulders.
Throughout history there have been many attempts at brain enhancement. Tries of scholars, philosophers, scientists, mathematicians, even medical professionals - in the hopes of treating degenerative brain diseases - have all chased after this elusive goal. Common methods that come to mind are memory techniques, brain games, neurofeedback, supplements and many other avenues that have been explored. Until recent years, it was very difficult to reach and maintain any quantifiable improvement in this arena.
Lucky for us, we live in a spectacular moment in time, where our knowledge of how the brain works and breakthroughs in scientific brain study are being made daily. It was once believed that the brain could not produce new neurons after childhood. This was disproved by the discovery of neurogenesis in the adult human brain. It was also believed for many years that intelligence was fixed at birth, this erroneous notion was also disproved by the introduction of a working memory exercise called Dual-N-Back, which proved that fluid intelligence can be improved. Over the past 20 years, our understanding of the brain has increased exponentially. As we move further into the 21st century, we are likely to witness many more tremendous advances in the brain sciences.
Let’s look at the future of brain enhancement, and a very important new study done by Dr. Dale Bredesen, a professor of neurology at the University of California. Where he successfully managed to reverse memory problems associated with early stage Alzheimer's disease by using a complex program of lifestyle changes, supplements and hormones. Of the first ten patients treated, nine reported improvements in memory within three to six months.
The full regimen involves 36 components, Bredesen said. In general, it involves diet changes such as eliminating simple carbohydrates and processed foods; regular exercise; stress reduction; good sleep habits; supplements like fish oil, curcumin and vitamin D; and, in some cases, hormone therapy. He said patients' daily lives had been altered, to the point that they where actually capable of leading normal lives again. Several whom had to quit their jobs were now back at work, he noted.
The Basics of Brain Enhancement
These fundamentals are like the low hanging fruit for improving your brain function, they are very important and set the stage for future improvements.
- Sleep – crucial to a top performing brain is getting a good night’s sleep, if you battle with sleep there are various techniques for improving your sleep quality, one such product is our Neuro Sleep supplement.
- Exercise – exercise performance is linked to brain metabolic (energy producing) activity and mitochondrial biogenesis (creation of new mitochondria). If your muscles are strong and fit, your brain will be too. The exercise type and duration are not nearly as important as actually getting up and moving your body.
- Diet – the best diet for top brain health is a ketogenic (think Tim Noakes Paleo) or even better yet, Dave Asprey’s Bulletproof diet. Try to be in ketosis as often as possible. A simple guide to a healthy diet is to stick to meat, leaves, vegetables and steer clear of wheat, dairy, sugar.
- Engage Your Brain – might sound simple, but you’d be surprised... Watching TV all day doesn't count. To cultivate a healthy brain you have to engage in mentally stimulating activities such as socializing, learning a new language, learning to play a new instrument or a challenging study course.
Advanced Methods to Brain Enhancement
Moving on to the advanced tools, this is where your fundamental brain health is good and you now want to further develop your brain's natural capabilities and enhance your intelligence.
A new class of supplements have now emerged whereby cognition and memory is enhanced in healthy, normal individuals as well as those suffering from cognitive deficits. Smart drugs, cognitive enhancers, and nootropics are a relatively new class of compounds that are likely to have wide-ranging effects on human society as the populous start to increase their brain power and intelligence with this amazing tool.
- Core – a good multivitamin; an Omega 3 supplement high in EPA and DHA; and a Vitamin D3 supplement are essential for ensuring your brain has the basic building blocks to foster a growing environment.
- Nootropics- for overall brain enhancement we recommend our All-In-One Stack, N-Acetyl Semax Amidate or our Neuro Mind formulation. Close on its heels for overall brain health is a stack of Uridine, CDP Choline and a high potency Omega 3 supplement. Then there are the mild stimulants, which are perfect for when you have to focus and get through a mountain of work namely Flmodafinil or Neuro Boost. For mood enhancement and social endeavors Aniracetam, Tianeptine Sulfate, Sulbutiamine, Picamilon and Phenibut are good options. Additionally, Alpha GPC or CDP-Choline will compliment any of the above for increased effectiveness. And as for 100% natural alternatives, there's our nutraceutical range.
To develop your brain beyond its accustomed capacity, you have to push it. And nothing does it better than cognitive demanding brain games and exercises. Below are the best ones, backed by real science and should be practiced daily or as often as possible.
- Dual-N-Back and the slightly more challenging 3D version
- Cambridge Brain Sciences
- Others such as Lumosity or Quantified Mind
As indicated by professor Bredesen and his success with the small Alzheimer’s study. The key to enhancing your brain lies not within any single element of the above mentioned methods, but true brain enhancement is found in combining these various elements. The efforts overlap, influence and synergize with each other. And when they all come together, that is when the magic happens.
IQ has been linked to higher income levels and better job success. Ever thought where you could have been by now if you had the perfect brain throughout your life? Given the information in this blog and the innovative resources and supplements made available through Upgraded Self, the question now becomes, not where you could of been, but where do you want to be in the future?
From all of our research, we here at NeuroActive believe that our brains are malleable and go through significant changes during the duration of our lives. IQ is not a fixed numerical value that forever stays constant. Rather, we can help create and facilitate the development of intelligence through exposure to stimulating environments, proper nutrition, exercise, supplementation and so forth.
Embarking on a journey like this, it is important to remember - progress, not perfection.
Your brain is your greatest asset, empower it!