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Treatment - "Rebuild" your brain?

Discussion in 'General Addiction discussion' started by boyTwist, Oct 7, 2009.

  1. boyTwist

    boyTwist Newbie

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    Hi, I am looking for info about rebuilding the brain after stress or drug abuse.
    I am new to this forum, and an ex "head", I recently came through some stress, and was left with depression. In an effort to see if my old drug use/abuse had affected my brain I searched the internet.
    It seems stress, alcohol, nicotine, etc. can impact the brain's chemistry.
    This affects Serotonin levels, for which Doctors may prescribe Serotonin reuptake inhibitors. However, I have discovered there may possibly be other ways to deal with this, in fact, there seems to be some evidence to suggest that the burned out cells can reproduce, particularly in the hippocampus.
    Simple things like proper nutrition and taking Lecithin. (found in eggs) can seemingly help improve your chances of regrowing your burned out brain cells.
    I am very keen to learn more about this, and would welcome any input from anyone who can provide links or information that might help.
    (I am an amateur, not a qualified medical researcher) It is important that we ensure studies are verifiable, not myth, rumour or hearsay. THANKS!
     
  2. guntroll

    guntroll Newbie

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    You can't make new brain cells, sorry. Your brain can learn to make better with what it has over time.

    The hippocampus is mainly for long term memory. Most drugs are bad for memory, some are good. If you're trying to improve your memory you should invest in some gingko Biloba. But for undoing brain damage... you're outta luck
     
  3. Creeping Death

    Creeping Death Iridium Member

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    Dont worry much about this. You dont actually kill any braincells by taking drugs, so dont worry about that!:D I know that Alcohol does "kill" braincells when you get a strong intoxication. But alcohol is unique from other drugs in the way that it is toxic/poisonous to the body.

    The body and brain are also pretty durable. It will "recover" to it's normal self if given time. What happens when taking - crack i assume? or smack? - It only replaces your natural endorphins or serotonin - and it raises your tolorance by doing that. And because of that it "screws up" the productions of natural endorphin or serotonin.. makes them low because your tolorance is high. But after time those body chemicals regulate themselves again to their genetic - proper - levels and your tolorance of course DROPS when you stop using the drug. (in my humble knowlage of biology)

    I have one tip of a good medicine that may speed up your production of endorphin.

    A health suppliment called L-Tyrosine, it can be bought in many health stores and online.

    The way it helps is by creating certain non-essential proteins, and your body "remaps" these extra proteins to help with dopamine-production. So when you are fatigued from withdrawal and after - you take a couple of Tyrosine capsules and it gives you natural energy (your own dopamine). Personally i think the more you feel like crap the more it helps. When you are sober and non-addicted taking them seems to have a weaker effect than when you are in/or just coming out of detoxing.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 12, 2009
  4. Reaver

    Reaver Silver Member

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    Some cannabinoids have been shown to promote neurogenesis in rats at least, according to a 2005 study in the Journal of Clinical Investigation:

    "The team found that rats treated with HU-210 on a regular basis showed neurogenesis – the growth of new brain cells in the hippocampus. This region of the brain is associated with learning and memory, as well as anxiety and depression.The effect is the opposite of most legal and illicit drugs such as alcohol, nicotine, heroin, and cocaine."

    Hope that's of some interest to Swiy even if the specific cannabinoids used in the study are not so widely available.

    (Edit: Reference as requested - http://www.jci.org/articles/view/25509 )
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2009
  5. missparkles

    missparkles Platinum Member & Advisor Donating Member

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    Sparkles has absence seizures (black outs) and her memory has been affected.
    Her neurologist said her brain has the ability to make new pathways in her brain to compensate for the ones that no longer work.
    Very similar to someone whose brain has been starved of oxygen after a major stroke.
    But this takes time, patience and can be frustrating. At one time Sparkles had to re-learn to tie her shoelaces.
    Maybe putting stick-it notes on stuff that's difficult to remember. Or else getting a cheap dictaphone and using it when something complicated has to be remembered?
    Just don't forget how to use the dictaphone like Sparkles did.;)
    Hope everything works out?
    Sparkles.:vibes:
     
  6. Dickon

    Dickon Newbie

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    One thing I did read about in relation to this is learning to juggle. I'm not sure whether learning to juggle increases the number of neurons per se or increases the connections between them. Google it if interested: I think information is on the New Scientist or Scientific American website.

    I would suggest a healthy lifestyle and learning new skill s and keeping your brain active, more than some "wonder pill". Learn a language, do cryptic crosswords, sudoku. Also physical activity that coordinates the left and right side of the body is good. It strengthens pathways in the Corpus Callosum, the part of the brain that joins left and right sides of the brain.

    My cat after about 20 years using alcohol, cannabis, LSD, opiates, benzos, amphetamines, crack all fairly regularly at times still got the top mark in the IQ-test part of a thing called the BMAT (Bio-medical aptitude test) for peopel trying to be doctors. He was 37, most other would have been 18. OK, medical doctors are not all Einstein, but empirically it leads me to think you'll probably be ok mentally. Personally I did a lot of pure maths, which maybe kept my brain active! I juggle, do yoga and meditate. All of which I'd recommend.

    Most of all be interested in life.

    All the best

    Dickon
     
  7. Spucky

    Spucky Palladium Member

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    AW: "Rebuild" your brain?

    a. do not use supplements, this is just the same like doing Drugs, it`s not the "Real Thing".
    b. Juggle is a very good thing as well as material arts like Kung Fu, Hapkido or Aikido.
    c. Classical music, Suduko and languages build up new connections as well.
    d. Real self cooked Meals with a proper diet, educated yourself and learn what you are eating
    (this will safe a lot of Money and there is not such a Bs. like l-Tyrosin needed (no offend!)
    f. Do not watch TV or listen to "Pop-Music", go to the Theatre, Opera and "Real Cinema" instead

    (this are all proved way`s to build up new ones, Point f. is just my personal tip)

    g. Get one or two "Sexual Partners" with a kind of a Love Relationship, "but not more", it will be too stressful :laugh:
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2009
  8. Nnizzle

    Nnizzle Gold Member

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  9. oggy

    oggy R.I.P. Silver Member

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    I agree with spucky on A. Swim is an ex heroin addict but thinks his miss use came from popping pills such as supplements and still feels the need to take things. It's not a healthy habbit even though the supplements are called "health" supplements it is still a drug like activity to be depentent on "things" and swim still has a substance missuse problem.
     
  10. boyTwist

    boyTwist Newbie

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    hi All,

    THANKS for all the replies and kindly taking the time to do so.

    I have tried to get back to this thread a few times and lost myself in the process. I also wanted to post a few links, but, they won't let me.

    Danged shame.

    thanks again all.
     
  11. seeingred

    seeingred Silver Member

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    I know some basic ways to rebuild a healthy brain would be: daily exercise both mentally and physically, getting lots of sunshine and spending time with nature, brain puzzles, reading daily, and there is something I was using as a supplement: Neurozine, that is supposed to help rebuild brain cells. I can't verify if it's true but it did seem to make me feel healthier.

    I believe the more you exercise your brain the stronger it gets. The more time you spend with loved ones and spend improving your life the better it will be. I actually think supplements could help but finding the right one that is most effective is important. Overall the brain is strong and is able to cope with chemicals, since chemicals are apart of food and just about everything...psychological health is also important to the brain. So spending time reading, writing, jogging etc. is really good for you.
     
  12. Rin_Weh

    Rin_Weh Silver Member

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    Neuroplasticity! :vibes: She ain't out of luck!




    Neuroplasticity: The brain's ability to reorganize itself by forming new neural connections throughout life. Neuroplasticity allows the neurons (nerve cells) in the brain to compensate for injury and disease and to adjust their activities in response to new situations or to changes in their environment.
    Brain reorganization takes place by mechanisms such as "axonal sprouting" in which undamaged axons grow new nerve endings to reconnect neurons whose links were injured or severed. Undamaged axons can also sprout nerve endings and connect with other undamaged nerve cells, forming new neural pathways to accomplish a needed function.
    For example, if one hemisphere of the brain is damaged, the intact hemisphere may take over some of its functions. The brain compensates for damage in effect by reorganizing and forming new connections between intact neurons. In order to reconnect, the neurons need to be stimulated through activity.
    Neuroplasticity sometimes may also contribute to impairment. For example, people who are deaf may suffer from a continual ringing in their ears (tinnitus), the result of the rewiring of brain cells starved for sound. For neurons to form beneficial connections, they must be correctly stimulated. Neuroplasticity is also called brain plasticity or brain malleability.
    Source:
    http://www.medterms.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=40362
    :smoker:
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2009
  13. Hey :-)

    Hey :-) Newbie

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    Swim has been thinking about neurology / brain plasticity recently , but is far from a graduate level of education !

    Swim wonders if the effects of repeated neglect / trauma to the developing brain , ie birth to 3 years (approx) , as apose to the effects of trauma at a later age , reduce adult plasticity potential , especially in the HPA axis and related systems .

    Swim wonders , if this is the case , would meditation , hypnotherapy (which may utilise similar states of mind to guided meditation) and other non chemical approaches to the treatment of various behaviours , be less effective in those groups of individuals ?

    Swim is aware that she is looking at negative possibilities .. ie this kind of therapy wont work because her brain may have been initally hardwired to threat / danger , and because of the period in her life in which that happened (disregarding the following years of bs) , it is less likely to change .

    Basically , is potential plasticity in the HPA axis and releated systems affected by very early repeated neglect / trauma ? and by how much ? How has this been measured ?
    Does neurogenisis even exist in these areas of the brain ?

    Swim tried looking this up and realized her lack of knowlege of this subject made interpreting highly scientific data almost impossible :(

    Swim is also aware that this may be a form of looking outside of the mind for answers and treatments to depression , anxiety , ptsd and addiction etc , but the mind is connected to the brain , and right now , she feels she must consider this for a fuller picture of things .
     
  14. Rin_Weh

    Rin_Weh Silver Member

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    What sort of trauma to the developing brain? Origin of trauma external or internal?
    Also, where as SWIY may not be able to rid memories, SWIY is still able to not let them take her life away perpetually.
    SWIY's brain is able to heal as an adult even if there was neglect as a child. Maybe SWIM's wrong, however, SWIY's brain is constantly changing from when SWIY was a child until now, so as far as reducing healing potential as an adult, SWIM doesn't think that is so.
    That is for the brain's functioning. Speaking of the bad memories SWIY has in her mind, that also has healing potential. Not for forgetting- unless SWIY's brain forgets how to remember :confused:- but SWIY can do meditation and anything at all that SWIY feels compelled or inspired to do to help calm something inside of her, if nothing else.
    It's hard to divide the groove of consciousness/brain function, and they play off one another so SWIM doesn't know what to say.
    SWIM isn't sure of SWIY is asking about healing damage to the brain in regards to substance abuse/mal-nutrition,etc....or healing damage to the mind regarding external neglect that eventually became a part of SWIY's cognitive thought and perhaps lead to self-abuse.
    SWIM thinks she made no sense what-so-ever in this post and came off as a jackass but SWIM's trying to figure out exactly what SWIY wants to know.
    Not that SWIM has the answers,obviously :laugh:....

    P.S Hypnotherapy is foggy. SWIM believes in the ability to regress however the questions being asked during a session of hypnotism could potentially create false memories. The hypnotist intentionally or unintentionally could lead the patient with their questioning thus creating far worse "memories" for the patient than the ones one went in with.
    You see it in case documents of hypnotists regressing abduction patients. While SWIM does believe in aliens and perhaps abduction aswell, it doesn't mean all cases are true. One needs to be a skeptic to a certain degree to find the true stories. However, if the Hypnotist is dead set on proving a certain theory , their set of questioning could be somewhat suggestive, especially when the patient is in such a vulnerable state of consciousness.
    Hypnosis is a very interesting practice and SWIM isn't saying it always produces false summaries, however, it can. And SWIM supposes discerning, as usual, is the difficult part.
    So, that needs to be a personal choice. And with a hypnotherapist who is neutral. There will always be questions though, even if SWIY is regressed and tries that, SWIY will always have questions. One has to wonder when you're talking about perspective and memory. Hypnosis isn't so black and white.


    If SWIY is hardwired to anything, it's because people in her life have taught her not to trust.
    SWIY is a spiritual animal, SWIY needs to survive. SWIY's danger/threat mode is in red alert because SWIY may have been attacked too many times.
    SWIY needs to find a place of refuge, where even if only for a moment she can be.
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2009
  15. Hey :-)

    Hey :-) Newbie

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    Thank you Rin_weh for taking the time to reply . Your not being a jackass .
    What Swim is trying to figure out is if the neurological potential plasticity in the adult human brain , in areas that effect emotional regulation / behavior , is reduced because of repeated neglect / abuse during the birth to three years (brain formation) stage .

    Swim thinks later drug/alcohol use could be a result of genetic predisposition , environmental and chance . Swim would like to focus on the former though .

    Swim isnt sure if she's completely looking at things from the wrong angle or not , or even if its the Hypothalamus-Pituritury-Adrenal axis area she should be focussing on regarding the neurological side of things .

    So .. Swim decided to write to a few scientists , psychologists , and therapists . Swim doesnt know if its appropriate to name names , but she has had her first response . More of a pointer really . Her first response was from a psychologist/therapist .
    His advice was to read the book The Developing Mind . How Relationships and The Brain Interact to Shape Who we Are . By Daniel J Siegel MD . Guildford Press 1999 . Especially chapters three and four .
    Swim hasnt got the money for the book yet , but has found parts of it online and it does look interesting , is written in a relatively easy to understand way , and adds a psychological perspective on behaviors without dismissing genetics .
    Swim will report more when she has read the whole book .
    Swim did find a bit that didnt look quite so positive on the efffects of repeated chronic neglect / abuse in the very early years of brain formation on potential adult plasticity .
    Swim also found some intersting reasons/theories for avoident , dismissive behaviors etc and would recommend anyone labelled under the DSM Cryteria to take a look at this book .

    Anyway , basically , Swim thinks its a path worth continuing with at the moment , even if it eventually leads her to recognize that maybe she always will be limited in how much / for how long without slipping back , she responds to treatments .
    Effective treatments is another topic as some point .
    Swim is aware of the potential for false memories in hypnotherapy , and her memories so far are not through hypnotherapy Age Regression .

    Swim would like to add that she has used AD's for emotional regulation , depression , anxiety and one did work to a degree , but Swim always wanted to sort herself out without them , its just that Swim doesnt know just how much she is capable of change , hence this plasticity inquiring . Swims biggest problem over the last five years has been alcohol and Swim appologizes for turning into an overemotional dumbass sometimes when she's had a few .

    Rin_Weh , Swiy add a nice spiritual feel to things somehow , thank you .

    Swim has a feeling that her enquiring may not yeild the results she wants to hear and may lead her back to her original idea that the only option she really has is to learn to accept herself for how she is . (Swim fears this the most)
    Swim wonders if wanting to feel better would hinder this , but thats for another topic .

    Anyway , Swim will let Swimmers know of any feedback from scientists she writes to , who have done studies / trials in the area of potential plasticity in adults in these brain areas .

    Swim hopes she's in the right brain area ! :laugh:

    Swim has learned what an acronym is now :)
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2009
  16. I<3Salvia

    I<3Salvia Titanium Member

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    Well swim would recommend a variety of things, depepending on what kind of imbalances that you have created in your brain. As far as fixing things goes, only time and good nutrition, and staying clean can help bring things back down to baseline. Now let's begin.

    To bring Serotonin levels back to normal swim would recommend both 5-htp, and L-tryptophan. 5-htp is the precursor to serotonin which some drugs will leave swiy in lack of. L-tryptophan is a precurser as well but is also a precursor for other neurotransmitters in the brain (the things that swiy's been putting out of balance). It's also good for your immune system. Swim takes one pill of each before bedtime. It also helps promote good sleep.

    L-tyrosine is for Dopamine. Taking supplements of that will help "re-up" swiy's levels of dopamine which is helpful if swiy's been taking amphetamines. Dopamine is good for focus, learning and mood, all very important to swiy. Once in the brain it turns into Norepepherine, and epinepherine basically adrenaline and something else. These help your with stamina, mental or otherwise. All of this you want to get replenished.

    If swiy is a smoker he needs to possibly get a bottle of L-arginine. L-Arginine is important in your overal health as a body. It works or turns on so many systems, including sex drive, vasodialation (good to have since some drugs constrict blood vessels not only in the brain but other areas), and it helps with synthesis of proteins for muscle. Most importantly however helps promote appropriate levels of nitric oxide in the body, something a smoker will be severely depleted in during their nights rest. Lack of nitric oxide contributes to all sorts of health problems which could be litterally be breading in one while they sleep, including cancer.

    L-Glutamine is also a good one as it helps with muscle growth. This is good for if you are a speed freak and are trying to repair some of the damage by not getting the nutrition you've been needing due to lack of appetite. It's basically food for our muscles.

    Make sure to take a megavitamin and 1000 mgs. of vitamin C everyday to promote the rest of swiys systems being healthy. Hope this helps. :)
     
  17. Hey :-)

    Hey :-) Newbie

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    Supplements , interesting . Swim isnt too sure about whether they are the answer for her , but appreciates the advice ! Swim is looking for change without supplementing with precursors , AD's etc . Swim does however take a multivitamin and vitamin C daily . Swim couldnt tollerate tyrosine because of migraine , and decided to leave 5-HTP alone because of her unstable kind of depression .

    The OP may be interested especially in 5-HTP in the short term ? but Swim thinks she ought to mention that there are some contraindications , especially to L/D - Tyrosine , that swimmers should be aware of ie

    It can trigger mania in bipolar (even 5-HTP can at high doses) ,
    It can trigger aggitation , jitteryness and headache
    It can trigger migraine (this was the biggest problem Swim found with it)
    It can raise blood pressure
    If you suffer melanoma do not use

    Interesting subject , alternative perspective .
     
  18. Rin_Weh

    Rin_Weh Silver Member

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    SWIY still lives in enviroment and chance. She still has control over certain things in her life, that is a good thing.
    To be pre-disposed genetically to some things may not actually mean so much as far as control over aspects of one's life.
    We're all limited to certain types of treatment whereas some are more effective for others, same as how we learn different ways but are all capable (for the most part) of learning. SWIY isn't "defective"( for lack of better word- not saying SWIY is defective) in all forms of treatment because of genetics.
    If SWIY is still using to self-medicate, that will only become cyclical.
    SWIY gets depressed, SWIY drinks, SWIY's drinking and general ill-health has it's effects on brain chemistry, making SWIY unhealthy and more depressed, so SWIY drinks. SWIY knows how it goes.
    If SWIY is interested in the healing brain, try optimising your health and see where it goes, how it changes your brain chemistry. Try those vitamins someone else mentioned, and various other things SWIY can do to help her brain. If not for SWIYself, do it as a long term experiment :).
    These sounds like easy solutions but SWIM is under no pretense of the such. SWIM realizes "just quit drinking" isn't so cut and dry so she's not intending to come across that way.
    But SWIY isn't destined or doomed to be miserable all her life because of genes, and SWIM doesn't want SWIY thinking she has to live this way just because she was born. This isn't so.
    SWIY seems hopeful and excited about her chemistry and so continue that way. Know that SWIY isn't bound in cement as far as wanting to change her life for herself.
    What SWIY fears most- is probably the thing that will get SWIY's mind/brain/life heading in the direction she obviously desires, if she allows herself to not fear it anymore.
    A lot of things in love and life are out of SWIY's control.
    Don't, though, go allowing some ruffled genes to dictate your evolution :cool:.
    SWIM just woke up. hehe.

    It's just, SWIM's parents have obvious mental things going on, and her father especially plus a drug problem.
    But SWIM's choice to do drugs is her own. She may have had some unstable upbringings which contributed to the fact that she has bad coping skills, however, it's still SWIM's choice , now that she knows better and is more or less responsible for herself, to do the things she does to herself.
    She doesn't have to, but she does. The things that have fucked up SWIM most, her brain/ parts of her life, have been SWIM's own doing.
    It's SWIM who would have to make changes before she would start seeing the positive effects of those changes in her life.
    SWIM ain't preaching, just saying what she knows is true of herself anyhow. SWIM still abuses herself all the time, everything SWIM does is a coping mechanism, SWIM realizes it isn't easy. Just wanted to say that so no one thinks SWIM is being preachy,ugh.
    :)
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2009
  19. NeuroChi

    NeuroChi is not his mind Staff Member

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    It is not conclusive whether or not neurons in the CNS are able to regenerate, and if so, how effectively. Some studies have shown that this is possible in some neurons, but this is inconclusive.

    The hippocampus used to be thought to store long term memory. Two theories point to the conclusion that it is actually primarily responsible for the consolidation of memory, which means that it processes working memory before it is stored elsewhere; the multiple-trace theory (Nadel and Mosocovitch, 1997), and the standard consolidation theory (Mosocovitch et al., 2006).

    There are many drugs that have shown to exhibit neurotoxic effects, especially in high doses. Although alcohol is different than the bulk of them because of it follows a relatively simple metabolic process into acetaldehyde, which is toxic and possibly carcinogenic, many other drugs can cause cause brain damage as well.

    Cocaine prevents the re-uptake of dopamine and norepinephrine, thus depleting intracellular levels of these neurotransmitters. Given a high enough dose a number of times, the amount of receptors for these substances may not reach their original levels.


    I disagree with this opinion. While there are a variety of health supplements that have little medical research to back up the claims for their beneficial effects, there are many that are quite effective at helping the body recover from drug use. Even more effective is preventing damage that may be caused in the first place.

    The majority of them target the oxidative stress that drugs evoke on the body; antioxidants like alpha lipoic acid and superoxide desmutase upregulators like deprenyl can be quite helpful in protecting cells from damage caused by free radicals.
     
  20. snickers

    snickers Silver Member

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    Try the piracetam, if you have a history of alcohol abuse. Don't attack dose, there is no recreational value in that. Keep it therapeutic, steady, and make sure your diet is clean. Don't eat junk food while on the stuff, try and keep the nutrition dense, with high quality fish oil and so on. Make sure to take choline supplements with any extended period of use. Best get into the habit of always supplementing with the stuff.

    The tyrosine and 5-htp and fairly standard.

    You could try tiantepine if you have any behavioral disorders, or severe depression. I wouldn't mix that stuff with piracteam. Not right away anyways. It's only my personal opinion. It is something you might feel there is recreational value in due to a slight mood uplift, but you should know being a former "head" that there is no rec value. So keep that therapeutic, and push through a few months. You may notice a move towards total remission, and that may stick with you months after discontinuation.

    Another thing to consider, is lithium. Yes, the somnolence while on it will suck, and long term use will probably mess you up, but in 4 weeks, your grey matter volume will increase. It's a volume and not necessarily a density increase, but it is an increase, so, that may be what you are looking for. I found the stuff to be extremely beneficial short term.

    Baby formula is a great cheap multi vitamin.

    B vitamins are going to help get your metabolism back up.

    Organ meats, try some of those. Eat your liver, eat some beef heart, etc. They are super cheap and natures best multivitamin.

    The bee pollens can be okay, but you need to be aware of your allergies and some people may not appreciate the high anti-biotic content.

    If you have anxiety issues, you might want to try aniracetam as a mild tranquilizer.

    Try not to mix too many strategies at once until you understand how to mix various things for various different effects.

    And so on... good luck...


    And to everyone else. It doesn't matter what substances Op has abused. If he was a "head", chances are he was getting street quality crap, that could double as poison, so a full rebuild or total brain health for fast, speedy and effective recovery is something worth aiming towards.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2014