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Hydergine-the Most Popular Ergot
Now we move onto one of the most popular and widely used smart-drugs that has been in use for over 40-years- Hydergine (pronounced hi-der-gene).

Hydergine has received only “mild” reviews whilst being used to treat senile dementias, (although it is widely regarded to have been used in dosages that were far too small for those purposes). However, hydergine presents itself as a remarkable anti-aging medicine and an adjunct for the treatment of age-related mental decline.

Hydergine is known to have all the following effects:
1. Increase blood supply to the brain.
2. Increase oxygen delivered to the brain.
3. Enhance metabolism of brain cells.
4. Protect the brain from insufficient oxygen supply.
5. Slow the deposit of the age pigment lipofuscin in the brain.
6. Prevent free radical damage to brain cells.
7. Increase intelligence, memory, learning and recall.

Oxygen is unique in that it is both a free radical generator and a free radical scavenger. At optimum concentrations, oxygen neutralizes more free radicals than it produces. Either too much or too little can upset the balance and generate the production of free radicals, which in turn can lead to aging. One of the major ways in which oxygen generates free radicals is its reaction with unsaturated fats, a process called peroxidation.

Unfortunately, our brain cells contain more unsaturated fats than any other part of the body, therefore it is our brains that are most susceptible to peroxidation. Here are some conditions that can cause major peroxidation and the formation of massive amounts of potent free radicals:

A. Heart attack
B. Stroke
C. Pollution (Carbon monoxide greatly reduces the oxygen carrying ability of the blood).
D. Smoking cigarettes (Nicotine constricts blood vessels and decreases oxygen supply to the brain. It is estimated that those who smoke more than 20 cigarettes a day lose at least 7% of the normal blood flow to the brain).

Some European countries use hydergine for emergencies and accidents that involve shock, haemorrhage, strokes, heart attacks, drowning, electrocution and drug over-dose. Hospitals give hydergine to patients before an operation in order to gain time in case of any ensuing crises. This is because hydergine helps to stabilize brain oxygen levels, if they are too high hydergine lowers them, if they are too low then hydergine improves them. This was graphically illustrated in a cat experiment.

Two groups of cats were anaestheized and their brains electronically monitored. The scientists reduced the brain’s blood supply (and therefore oxygen supply). The cats in the control group (i.e. no hydergine) had brain damage within 5-minutes and died within 15-minutes. However, the cats in the prehydergine treated group had strong brain wave patterns up to 45-minutes later. This
experiment proved two things, firstly that a decrease in the normal oxygen balance results in tremendous free radical damage and secondly that hydergine protects against this free radical damage when the oxygen level is upset.

Hydergine has also been shown to increase the level of neurotransmitters in the brain, whilst this may not be significant enough for the treatment of senile dementia, such action has implications and benefits for the treatment and prevention of agerelated mental decline.

There is also evidence that hydergine stimulates the growth of dendrite nerve fibres. Dendrites can normally be expected to decline with aging and some scientists have associated the number and density of dendrites with intelligence

This decrease in brain cell connection has been hypothesized to be due to an impairment in the energy supply at synaptic regions. Because of hydergine’s known ability to improve nerve cell metabolism, a group of Italian scientists studied the ultra-cellular features of synaptic mitochondria to see if long-term hydergine treatment could delay or prevent the loss of synaptic connections.

The mitochondria are the “intracellular powerhouses” where the universal energy molecule-ATP (adenosine triphosphate) is produced.

The scientists found that the number of mitochondria are greatest at about 12-months of age in rats (equivilant to a 25-year old in human terms) and then progressively decreases. However, the size of the mitochondria increased progressively after 12 months. Thus in young adult rats, the energy required at synaptic regions is provided by a large number of small, highly efficient mitochondria, whereas in old rats, energy is produced by a smaller number of larger, less efficient mitochondria.

But, astonishingly after treatment with hydergine, it can be seen that the total mitochondrial volume of old rats was nearly the same as the young rats. Furthermore, the mitochondrial size was altered to a more youthful direction

Like its ergot relatives, hydergrine has also shown itself to be a mild vasodilator (it enhances brain blood flow) and improves the uptake of the brain energy molecule – glucose. Hydergrine also reduces the accumulation of age-related toxin, lipofuscin.

Time and again, clinical trials indicate that hydergrine can improve cognitive functions, mental alertness, clarity and mood.

Dosages, Side effects and Contradictions
With literally thousands of published clinical research papers and hydergrine’s decades of use around the world, it has proven itself to be non-toxic and relatively safe. Its potential side effects include mild nausea, gastric disturbances and bradycardia. It should be avoided by people who suffer from psychosis, or those with low blood pressure or abnormally slow heartbeat. Seek a health professional’s advice if combining hydergine (at dosages in excess of 9mg per day) with other ergot derivatives or vasodilators.

Most people do well at dosages of around 2.25 mg to 4.5mg per day with occasional breaks. The most common side effect of stomach upset can be avoided with the use of specially coated tablets (known as FAS) or sublingual liquid versions.

With its beneficial affects, mild side effects and few contraindications, hydergine is ranked as one of the most important anti-aging medicines available today.

Fungi’s from rye were used by our ancestors for many different reasons, some of them as rites of passage into adulthood, most were considered to be “mind-expanding.” Now we know many of the pharmacological actions and roles they play in mental and memory enhancement and in the slowing of age-related brain disorders.

Today, we understand that brain protection and enhancement is a most important factor- if not the most important factor for antiaging medicine and successful longevity.

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Hydergine (Hydergina) HYDER-1-IAS
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"My writer's block has gone and I have accomplished more work in the last month than I achieved in virtually all of last year! This has been happened in the several weeks that I have been using Hydergine, I don't believe this is a coincidence." S.K., New York.

(1) Ditch M, “An ergot preparation in the treatment of Cerbrovascular disorders in the geriatric patient” Journal of the American Geriatrics society (1971) 19 No3 208-217.
(2) Sandoz Inc., “Hydergine” Manufacturers product information sheet (1999).
(3) Hughes J, “An ergot alkaloid preparation in the treatment of dementia” Journal of the American Geriatric society (1976) 24 490-497.
(4) Cranton M: Franckelton J: “Treatment of free Radical pathology in chronic degenerative diseases with EDT chelation therapy” Journal of Holistic Medicine (1984) 6-1.
(5) Rao B: Norris J: “A double blind investigation of Hydergine in the treatment of cerebrovascular insufficiency in the elderly.” John Hopkins Med. Jour. (1971) 130 317-23.
(6) Fanchamps A, “Dihydroergotoxine in senile cerebral insufficiency” aging (1983) 23.
(7) Hindmarch I, “The effects of an ergot alkaloid derivative on aspects of psychomotor performance” the journal of clinical pharmacology (1979) 726-731.
(8) Spiegel R, “A controlled long term study with Hydergine, in healthy elderly volunteers” Journal of the American Geriatrics society (1983) 31, No 9 549-555.
(9) Bertoni-Freddari C, Fattoretti P, Casoli T, Spanga C, Meier-Ruge W, “Morphological alterations od synaptic mitochondria during aging-the effect of hydergine treatment in the pharmacology of the aging process-methods of assessment and potential interventions.” New York Academy of Sciences,
volume 717 by Imre Zs-Nagy and Kenichi Kitani eds.) NYAS, Ny 1994.
(10) Cucinotta D, Deleo D, Frattola L, Trabucchi M, Parnetti L, “Dihydroergokryptine vs. placebo in dementia of Alzheimer type: Interim study after a 1 year follow up.” Archives of Gerontology and Gieriatrics, 22, 169-180 (1996).

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