How to Improve Memory and Cognition with Galantamine
What you should know to feed your mind and maintain your brainGalantamine and choline taken together are synergistic
Perhaps the most important article on Galantamine that Life Enhancement has ever published involved a paper1 finding that when galantamine is taken with an acetylcholine precursor (such as Choline), the memory enhancement results are superior and Galantamine works even better! Until the publication of this paper1 on which this article is based, such an approach seemed logical, but there was no solid proof. (See “Alzheimer’s Breakthrough” in the April 2012 issue.)
Employing this combination increases cholinergic reuptake and release balance that is so necessary for optimizing memory function. Thus, taking these two supplements together can potentiate deficient cholinergic neurotransmission and protect and advance memory function.
The message to take home: The combination of Galantamine and Choline produces neuroprotective effects greater than the sum of those observed with the single compounds. They are more than additive—they are synergistic!
More Than an Alzheimer’s Breakthrough
Certainly, this is more than an Alzheimer’s breakthrough. It is a breakthrough for those who have not yet fallen into dementia, which is much more likely to be the case the older we get. Even if we can’t fully prevent Alzheimer’s—and the results are not yet in—it is likely that it can be delayed and possibly even reversed to a degree if it has already occurred.
Getting the Most Out of Galantamine
For Galantamine to provide much higher benefits, we suggest taking choline in adequate amounts (up to 3 g/day), along with lithium, fish oil, Vitamin C (calcium ascorbate), Vitamin E (d-alpha-tocopheryl acid succinate), Vitamin B6 (as pyridoxine), folic acid, Vitamin B12 (as cyanocobalamin), green tea’s EGCG, Turmeric root, and Quercetin.
Galantamine Reduces Death from All Causes
Of particular interest, two articles published in Life Enhancement considered two studies that showed decreased overall mortality2 and lower levels of cardiovascular disease and also death from all causes!3
Seniors are Big Targets for Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Dementias
According to the “2013 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures—Alzheimer's Association”:*
- Alzheimer’s disease is now the sixth-leading cause of death
- 1 in 3 seniors dies with Alzheimer’s or another dementia
- Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia
- Most people with Alzheimer’s disease are diagnosed at age 65 or older
- Major risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease include advancing age, family history, the apolipoprotein E4 gene, mild cognitive impairment (MCI), cardiovascular disease risk factors, fewer years of education, less social and cognitive engagement, traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- While women are at greater risk for Alzheimer’s disease, this may be attributed largely due to women’s longer life expectancy
- The estimated annual incidence (rate of developing disease in one year) of Alzheimer’s disease appears to increase dramatically with age, from approximately 53 new cases per 1,000 people age 65 to 74, to 170 new cases per 1,000 people age 75 to 84, to 231 new cases per 1,000 people age 85 and older (the“oldest-old”)
- Some studies have found that incidence rates drop off after age 90, but these findings are controversial.
- When the first wave of baby boomers reaches age 85 (in 2031), it is projected that more than 3 million people age 85 and older are likely to have Alzheimer’s
- It is difficult to determine how many deaths are caused by Alzheimer’s disease each year because of the way causes of death are recorded
- Severe dementia frequently causes complications such as immobility, swallowing disorders and malnutrition that can significantly increase the risk of other serious conditions that can cause death.
The number of people with Alzheimer’s disease doubles every five years beyond age 65 until age 85. By age 85, almost 50% of all people have the disease.
Holy Moly: Bringing Up The Past
Historically, galantamine has a reputation that goes back at least 2700–2800 years to the time when Homer wrote it into his epic tale, The Odyssey (see “Galantamine, The Odyssey’s nootropic phytonutrient, revives memory and helps … Fight Alzheimer’s Disease” in the October 2000 issue). The article still gives me chills when I read it, even 13 years after it was written. Here’s the ending:
“Odysseus, the great teller of tales, launched out on his story,” begins the ninth book of the epic poem. In addition to having a great episodic memory, he is cast as a hero of memory, a great voyager, a hero of poetry, and a master of rhetoric. Memory is rhetoric (in the classical sense, the art of persuasion), entailing, per Aristotle, a thorough awareness of one’s audience. Thus, rhetoric involves the artistry of memory, and like poetry, is composed of one’s experiences, eidetic images, and the core abilities of the poet-rememberer. Thus, at the end of the journey, the heroic survival of Odysseus clearly demonstrates not only the importance of memory and of nóos (mind), but of poetry itself—and, by extension, of language and communication.
“Moly (galantamine) is instrumental to the triumph of Odysseus, as it may be for you. And if memory is a tool for learning about our own past triumphs and errors, mastery of it is also a tribute to the value and sanctity of memory. And now you know where the expression ‘Holy Moly’ comes from. Holy Moly is galantamine.”
What The Odyssey tells us is that without a great memory, we will forget our pasts and never reach our futures. In reality, galantamine can help us in just that way.
Four to six servings (16–24 mg/day) is
the level at which mortality is
reduced. It is also the level at which
reductions of heart attacks and death
from all causes have been shown.
Serving Size and Dose Information
When starting galantamine, take one 4 mg serving each morning with breakfast for the first week. Add a second 4 mg serving with lunch, starting the second week. Add a third 4 mg serving with dinner, starting in week three. Then in weeks four, five, and six, add a second 4 mg serving at breakfast, lunch, and dinner, respectively, until your desired level is achieved. If sensitivity occurs, reduce the amount used. If sensitivity continues, stop using the supplement. Many individuals do well on only two to four capsules/day, although six 4 mg servings/day appears to be optimal for most individuals. Four to six servings (16–24 mg/day) is the level at which mortality is reduced. It is also the level at which reductions of heart attacks and death from all causes have been shown.2,3
- Tayebati SK, Di Tullio MA, Tomassoni D, Amenta F. Neuroprotective effect of treatment with galantamine and choline alphoscerate on brain microanatomy in spontaneously hypertensive rats. J Neurol Sci. 2009 Aug 15;283(1-2):187-9-4.
- Hager K, Baseman AS, Han JH, Sano M, Richards HM. In a 2-Year Placebo-controlled Randomized Trial, Galantamine-treated Patients had Lower Mortality Rates and Slower Decline in Cognition and Activities of Daily Living. Neuropsychopharmacology. (2012) 38, S328. doi:10.1038/npp.2012.221 www.nature.com/npp/journal/v38/n1s/full/npp2012221a.html. Updated: December 5, 2012. Accessed: December 22, 2013. Not yet published, but from work done by senior Galantamine researchers and presented in poster session.
- Nordström P, Religa D, Wimo A, Winblad B, Eriksdotter M. The use of cholinesterase inhibitors and the risk of myocardial infarction and death: a nationwide cohort study in subjects with Alzheimer’s disease. Eur Heart J. 2013 Sep;34(33):2585-91.