Agile Alchemy

Enhancing physical and mental agility with the Alchemy of eugeroics (the class of stimulants that produce long-lasting mental arousal). We report on current research from reputable sources.

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Foundation Board Member Institute of Government Business Analysis & Process Reengineering (IGBAPR)
Editor Business Analysis IGBAPR
IBM Consulting Group Asia/Pacific Achievement Award 1997
Past Member Executive Committee Canberra Branch Australian Computer Society
Foundation Member ACS Canberra e-Business SIG

Sunday, January 07, 2007

CoQ10 Proves good for Heart especially with exercise

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - The popular supplement coenzyme Q10 improves the functional capacity of patients with chronic heart failure, along with strengthening of their heart, a new study shows. Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) has antioxidant properties, note Dr. Romualdo Belardinelli, of Lancisi Heart Institute, Italy, and colleagues. "However, its role in chronic heart failure is not well defined," they explain in the European Heart Journal. The team therefore studied 23 patients, average age 59 years, with moderate to severe heart failure. They were assigned to 4 weeks each of oral CoQ10 supplements or inactive placebo pills, with or without supervised exercise training five times per week. Of the 23 patients, 21 completed the study. Supplementation with CoQ10 led to a significant 3 percent increase in HDL ("good") cholesterol and improvement in peak exercise capacity. Belardinelli's team also saw an increase in cardiac function with CoQ10 treatment. Combining exercise training with CoQ10 produced more marked improvements in these and all other parameters.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Is Longer Life more of a plus or a minus?

Short snapshot of the debate, but the economic arguments are interesting:

Longer life could have a downside - LiveScience - MSNBC.com
"Whether through genetic tinkering or technology that mimics the effects of caloric restriction — strategies that have successfully extended the lives of flies, worms and mice — a growing number of scientists now think that humans could one day routinely live to 140 years of age or more.

Extreme optimists such as Aubrey de Gray think the maximum human lifespan could be extended indefinitely, but such visions of immortality are dismissed by most scientists as little more than science fiction.

While scientists go back and forth on the feasibility of slowing, halting or even reversing the aging process, ethicists and policymakers have quietly been engaged in a separate debate about whether it is wise to actually do so."

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Aubrey De Gray Interview

Perhaps I haven't been aiming high enough - I was just looking at making it to next year, not living 1,000 years - but Aubrey De Gray has created a bit of a stir with his view that we should consider it seriously and research it right now. Video courtesy of Youtube.


Monday, April 24, 2006

Narcolepsy Drug Eyed for Cocaine Users - Yahoo! News

Modafinil continues to find new uses betond its original expectation.

Narcolepsy Drug Eyed for Cocaine Users - Yahoo! News: "he hottest topic in cocaine addiction is another drug — a medicine already sold to wake up narcoleptics.
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Hundreds of cocaine users are testing whether that legal pill, called modafinil, could help them kick the addiction, and there's early evidence that it may.

In addition to blunting cocaine's notorious cravings, modafinil might also counter the damage that cocaine wreaks on users' brain circuits — damage that in turn fuels the cycle of addiction."

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Rapid removal of atherosclerotic plaque

Drug Development Technology - ETC-216 Phospholipid Therapy for Coronary Heart Disease (CHD) Patients: "CLINICAL TRIALS SUGGEST ETC-216 MAY REVERSE ATEHROSCLEROSIS

The phase II clinical trial that has attracted media interest was carried out in 57 patients with acute coronary syndrome (ACS), who were randomised to five-weekly infusions of either ETC-216, at one of two doses, or placebo (saline). Intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) was performed within two weeks of patients experiencing ACS (baseline) and after each weekly infusion. The primary outcome measure was the change from baseline in percentage atheroma volume, as measured by IVUS, in the combined ETC-216 cohort. Results showed that five weeks of treatment with ETC-216 produced a significant, 4.2% reduction in atheroma volume (p<0.01).

Trial investigators in the US have described the results of the phase II study as 'unprecedented' and the best example to date that directly targeting HDL offers therapeutic benefit in patients with CHD."

Diabetics Get Help from Gila Venom

Diabetics Get Help from Gila Venom: "Byetta is the first in a new class of drugs that mimic the effects of the human hormone, GLP-1, which the gut secretes when a person eats. That hormone stimulates insulin production and regulates blood sugar.

'It's huge,' said Dr. John Miles, professor of medicine at Mayo College of Medicine in Rochester, Minn. 'This drug has the potential to make the biggest splash since the introduction of metformin (another diabetes drug) in 1995. The reason is the weight loss.'

The vast majority of diabetes drugs cause weight gain, something most diabetics can ill afford.

Austinite Beth Barnes said she has lost 55 pounds since she started injecting Byetta twice a day last summer. Even so, she is able to eat foods in moderation that she could not eat before without paying a price on the scale. At Thanksgiving, for example, she had pumpkin pie and dressing.

'It's been wonderful, but you do have side effects,' said Barnes, 57, who owns a travel agency."

FDA Approves of BYETTA™ (Exenatide) Injection for Type 2 Diabetes, drug derived from Gila monster

FDA Approves of BYETTA™ (Exenatide) Injection for Type 2 Diabetes, drug derived from Gila monster: "he US FDA has approved BYETTA™ (exenatide) injection as adjunctive therapy to improve blood sugar control in patients with type 2 diabetes who have not achieved adequate control on metformin and/or a sulfonylurea, two common oral diabetes medications. BYETTA (pronounced bye-A-tuh), the trade name for exenatide, is the first in a new class of medicines known as incretin mimetics. BYETTA will be available to pharmacies by June 1, 2005.

BYETTA improves blood sugar control by lowering both postmeal and fasting glucose levels leading to better long-term control as measured by hemoglobin A1C. BYETTA does this through several actions, including the stimulation of insulin secretion only when blood sugar is high and by restoring the first- phase insulin response, an activity of the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas that is lost in patients who have type 2 diabetes. Most patients in the long-term BYETTA clinical studies also experienced reductions in weight. "

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

MedlinePlus Drug Information: Modafinil

MedlinePlus Drug Information: Modafinil: "Contents of this page:

* Why is this medication prescribed?
* How should this medicine be used?
* Other uses for this medicine
* What special precautions should I follow?
* What special dietary instructions should I follow?
* What should I do if I forget a dose?
* What side effects can this medication cause?
* What storage conditions are needed for this medicine?
* In case of emergency/overdose
* What other information should I know?
* Brand names"




Tuesday, March 07, 2006

The semi-technical view on the two current Eugeroics

Modafinil & Adrafinil - Research and Sources: "Modafinil and Adrafinil are the first of an entirely new class of pharmaceutical - the Eugeroics ('good arousal') - designed to promote vigilance and alertness. This unique class contains only Modafinil and Adrafinil, both of which have been developed by Lafon Laboratories as wake-promoting agents that improve wakefulness. The basis of their uniqueness lies in their ability to stimulate only when stimulation is required. As a result, the 'highs and lows' associated with other stimulants such as amphetamine are absent with Eugeroics. Modafinil and Adrafinil won't prevent a person from sleeping if they want to, but if they wish to remain awake they will do so with a far greater alertness. Numerous clinical trials and studies since the mid 1980's have confirmed the ability of Modafinil and Adrafinil to increase awakeness and alertness without serious side effects or dependency. One of those involved volunteers who were subjected to 60 hours of sleep deprivation. During their continued wakefulness, their vigilance was assessed using questionnaires, visual scales and sleep latency tests. The subjects received either 200 mg Modafinil or a placebo every 8 hours. The Modafinil group sustained a satisfactory level of vigilance with an absence of sleep episodes, unlike the placebo group who gradually declined and slipped into 'micro-sleep' episodes, (as one might expect when awake for longer than 24 hours). Another study conducted over 3 years discovered that Modafinil reduced drowsiness in 83% of hypersomniac patients and 71% of narcoleptics. Modafinil did not produce side effects, disturb night sleep, or promote drug dependence."




Sate.com article on Eugeroics

Wake Up, Little Susie - Can we sleep less? By David Plotz: "The military is enthralled with the possibility of doing away with shut-eye. The supersecret Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is investigating drugs that would keep soldiers awake for a week. The Air Force prescribes 'go pills'—small doses of the amphetamine Dexedrine—to pep up long-haul pilots. (But hopped-up pilots may be dangerous: The American pilots who accidentally bombed and killed Canadian soldiers last spring were taking go pills.)

Avoiding sleep for a week might be necessary in an extreme situation like war, but the run-of-the-mill, office-working, wannabe Superman requires something different. We don't want a pill that will keep us Exceling and Power Pointing for three days straight. We just want something that makes us feel alert through an entire normal day—a drug that makes us feel as lively for the 18-hour-day we have to live as for the 16-hour-day we ought to live.

Hence my rendezvous with modafinil. The drug, made by Cephalon, is marketed under the creepy, pharma-Orwellian name Provigil. The FDA approved it in 1998 to treat narcolepsy, but it is starting to have a underground life as a pick-me-up for the routinely sleep-deprived. The military has tested it heavily, particularly on pilots."

those involved volunteers who were subjected to 60 hours of sleep deprivation. During their continued wakefulness, their vigilance was assessed using questionnaires, visual scales and sleep latency tests. The subjects received either 200 mg Modafinil or a placebo every 8 hours. The Modafinil group sustained a satisfactory level of vigilance with an absence of sleep episodes, unlike the placebo group who gradually declined and slipped into 'micro-sleep' episodes, (as one might expect when awake for longer than 24 hours). Another study conducted over 3 years discovered that Modafinil reduced drowsiness in 83% of hypersomniac patients and 71% of narcoleptics. Modafinil did not produce side effects, disturb night sleep, or promote drug dependence."




Extract from New Scientist Features - Get ready for 24-hour living

New Scientist Features - Get ready for 24-hour living: (Paid Registration Required) "'The more we understand about the body's 24-hour clock the more we will be able to override it,' says Russell Foster, a circadian biologist at Imperial College London. 'In 10 to 20 years we'll be able to pharmacologically turn sleep off. Mimicking sleep will take longer, but I can see it happening.' Foster envisages a world where it's possible, or even routine, for people to be active for 22 hours a day and sleep for two. It is not a world that everyone likes the sound of. 'I think that would be the most hideous thing to happen to society,' says Neil Stanley, head of sleep research at the Human Psychopharmacology Research Unit in the University of Surrey, UK. But most sleep researchers agree that it is inevitable.

If that sounds unlikely, think about what is already here. Modafinil has made it possible to have 48 hours of continuous wakefulness with few, if any, ill effects. New classes of sleeping pills are on the horizon that promise to deliver sleep that is deeper and more refreshing than the real thing. Further down the line are even more radical interventions - wakefulness promoters that can safely abolish sleep for several days at a stretch, and sleeping pills that deliver what feels like 8 hours of sleep in half the time. Nor is it all about drugs: one research team even talks about developing a wearable electrical device that can wake your brain up at the flick of a switch.

To some degree, we are already adept at controlling sleep. Most people in full-time work deprive themselves of sleep during the week, deliberately or otherwise, and catch up at the weekend. We often augment our sleep-suppressing powers with caffeine, nicotine or illegal stimulants such as cocaine and amphetamines. We are also highly dependent on substances that help us sleep. According to some estimates, 75 per cent of adults suffer at least one symptom of a sleep problem a few nights a week or more. In 1"

those involved volunteers who were subjected to 60 hours of sleep deprivation. During their continued wakefulness, their vigilance was assessed using questionnaires, visual scales and sleep latency tests. The subjects received either 200 mg Modafinil or a placebo every 8 hours. The Modafinil group sustained a satisfactory level of vigilance with an absence of sleep episodes, unlike the placebo group who gradually declined and slipped into 'micro-sleep' episodes, (as one might expect when awake for longer than 24 hours). Another study conducted over 3 years discovered that Modafinil reduced drowsiness in 83% of hypersomniac patients and 71% of narcoleptics. Modafinil did not produce side effects, disturb night sleep, or promote drug dependence."




Congnitive Enhancement becomes "Genius Pill"

Scotsman.com News - Features - A genius pill: would you be really stupid to swallow it?: "Modafinil is a 'cognitive enhancement' drug licensed in Britain and the US for the treatment of narcolepsy (a rare disorder in which patients fall asleep during the day), but is fast becoming the pep pill of choice for anyone who needs their brain to be working in overdrive or wants to stay up all night and still be functional the next day.

Made by pharmaceutical company Cephalon and variously branded as Provigil or Modavigil, it can keep a person awake and alert for up to 90 hours without either the highs or jitters that amphetamines or caffeine would induce. It is huge in the States (American Vogue devoted four pages to it this month), with sales doubling from a million in 2002 to two million last year. Its properties are also highly regarded by the military; French soldiers use modafinil and the British MoD has bought more than 24,000 tablets since 1998."

those involved volunteers who were subjected to 60 hours of sleep deprivation. During their continued wakefulness, their vigilance was assessed using questionnaires, visual scales and sleep latency tests. The subjects received either 200 mg Modafinil or a placebo every 8 hours. The Modafinil group sustained a satisfactory level of vigilance with an absence of sleep episodes, unlike the placebo group who gradually declined and slipped into 'micro-sleep' episodes, (as one might expect when awake for longer than 24 hours). Another study conducted over 3 years discovered that Modafinil reduced drowsiness in 83% of hypersomniac patients and 71% of narcoleptics. Modafinil did not produce side effects, disturb night sleep, or promote drug dependence."