Nina's Notes #3
The mission of longevity, boosting cognition & psychedelics can improve neuroplasticity
Nina here with the third edition of Nina’s Notes. The goal of this newsletter is to bring you into the world of longevity, psychedelic therapeutics, decentralized science & other interesting news. New in this edition, my one-liner opinion on each featured topic.
👵🏼 The Mission of Longevity Science
🧠 Multivitamins for Cognition
💊 Psychedelics linked to improved neuroplasticity and cognitive motor skills
🍄 Amendments to the California bill on decriminalization of psychedelics
👟 Cellulose Shoes
The Mission of Longevity Science
Longevity ≠ live forever. It means improving health-span, our healthy years prior to cognitive and physical decline.
This report gives a good basic overview of the Longevity (health-span) mission. Discussed in the report are 5 main topics: (1) A comprehensive explanation of what longevity means, (2) how to measure your chronological versus biological age, (3) monitoring your longevity, (4) preventative care to increase longevity and (5) what’s next for longevity.
Multivitamins for cognition
Take daily multivitamins
In a study performed to measure the effects of the cocoa-plant on cognitive function, the researchers were surprised to find that a multivitamin actually outperformed the cocoa-plant. Study participants that took multivitamins scored on average nearly 2 cognitive years younger than the participants taking a placebo.
Psychedelics linked to improved cognitive motor skills & neuroplasticity
Three promising studies featuring (1) psilocybin, (2) LSD and (3) MDMA that show signs of improved brain function.
Last week at the ICPR conference in Amsterdam, Paul Stamets, industry leader in fungi, gave a keynote talk addressing a study which involved the core interests of this newsletter. Paul described a study conducted using Quantified Citizen (DeSci) where they studied the effects of micro-dosing Psilocybin (psychedelic) and measured finger tapping as a motor-cognitive measurement (longevity). Their results showed improved finger tapping in adults over 55 who took micro-doses of psilocybin.
Amanda Feilding, English drug policy reformer and often called the Queen of Psychedelics, reiterated this point in her talk where she described a study which documented improved neuroplasticity and increased levels of BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor) in response to micro-dosing LSD.
Brain Green, Reggie Watts, Rick Doblin and Gul Dolen sat down for recorded conversation on Psychedelics, Chemicals, Consciousness and Creativity. Dr. Dolen described her groundbreaking discovery that MDMA can reopen a novel critical period in brain plasticity in mice. As the brain matures, we go through these periods of time when we are extremely sensitive to stimuli and the environment and these are called “critical periods.” In the documentary Gul explains this around minute 58, using the example of geese imprinting on their mothers within the first 48 hours of hatching and forming a deep connection. Humans also have similar critical periods for language, motor learning, vision, and more. For many years, neuroscientists have been looking to find a way to reopen these critical periods, and now Dr. Dolen’s lab is working to test hypotheses that psychedelic drugs can reopen multiple critical periods across the brain and that this property can be harnessed for therapeutic benefit.
Amendments to the California bill on decriminalization of psychedelics
This bill has basically been crushed, and we have to wait another year to try again.
I announced in my first newsletter that San Francisco passed a bill (SB 519) which would have decriminalized the personal use of certain psychedelic substances. Unfortunately the Assembly Appropriations Committee stripped the decriminalization aspect of the bill. Senator Weiner announced in a press release his disappointment in this amendment, and that he will reintroduce the original goal of the bill in the next legislative cycle in 2023.
Other interesting things
Two friends of mine are the founders of Kintra Fibers, making biodegradable performance fibers; and Kleiderly, which has a novel chemical process to turn polyester clothes into hard plastic material. From their influence, I get excited about new materials.
Many performance materials are made using materials that never biodegrade. In particular, shoes can take anywhere from 40 to 1000 years to fully break down, releasing carbon emissions as they do. Two teams are tackling this problem, a team in the UK has created a durable, biodegradable material made from bacteria, and a team in New Zealand has created the first truly biodegradable sneaker.
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