Thursday, November 27, 2014

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GUNS DRUGS AND BAD IDEAS

Huperzine A(H2N)

Melting Point: 217-219 degrees Celcius

Molar Mass: 242.32 g/mol

Molecular Formula: C15H18N2O

Huperzine A is naturally occurring.  It is an alkaloid compound found in the firmoss Huperzia Serrata.

Firmoss Huperzia Serrata is a plant which is widely distributed over the counter as a dietary supplement. It may treat Alzheimers Disease.

It is native to India and Southeast Asia.

The mechanism of action is similar to Donepezil, Rivastigmine, and Galantamine. 

Huperzine A is commonly sold in the USA for memory support. The botanical itself has long been used by the Chinese to treat swelling, fever and blood disorders. 

Clinical trials in China have proven the drug helps improve memory function and treats Alzheimers disease.

Being an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor and NMDA receptor antagonist, the drug is able to break down acetylcholine which will increase the level and duration of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. Huperzine A is one of the only naturally occurring acetylcholinesterase inhibitors.  Some of the major side effects may include: actions on the parasympathetic nervous system, may cause bradycardia (a resting heart rate), hypotension (abnormally low blood pressure), hypersecretion (releasing chemicals), bronchoconstriction (constriction of airways in the lungs due to the tightening of smooth muscle – shortness of breath and weezing / coughing may occur), GI tract hypermotility (diarrhea), and may decrease intraocular pressure (releasing pressure behind eyes).  It may also cause SLUDGE syndrome (Salivation, Lacrimation, Urination, Defecation, Gastrointenstinal upset, Emesis - Vomitting).  It may also cause actions on the neuromuscular junction, prolonging muscle contraction.

In some trials, Huperzine A has had a beneficial effect on the general cognitive function with no serious side effects for patients with AD.

 

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