Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Letters from Red: Dopamine and the Dream

Hey L!

So, I’ve been thinking about the role of dopamine in all of this crazy lucidity land stuff. Actually, S has been working on a paper about Tobacco in South America and that lead me on a weird internet search in terms of Dopamine, Nicotine and the “Visionary State”.

So, first off, as we know…Tobacco not only has nicotine but also has potent MAOIs. In fact, there seems to be more than a few people on tobacco forums talking about how the nicotine replacement therepies (patches, gum ect.) just don’t seem to do it for them. This is interesting to me seeing as how I am an on again /off again nicotine fiend (I’m actually sucking on a Nicorette lozenge as I type this Mwhahahaha).

At anyrate, Nicotine does have an affect on dopamine levels. However, what is more impressive are the long term effects that other chemicals in tobacco (not nicotine) have on smokers MAO levels. Especially MAO-B’s which are related not to serotonin but dopamine.

Exhibit A:)
http://whyfiles.org/024nicotine/brainscan.html

So! It’s obvious that smokers have lower MAO-B levels and therefore higher amounts of dopamine. Now…are you ready for the shizzle? The craziest piece o’ data that I stumbled across in my nicotine fuled research-o-haul of awesomeness….

DMT may not be broken down my MAO-A’s (the one’s that break down serotonin)…but by MAO-Bs (the one’s that break down dopamine)!?!?!!

That’s right!

Now, when taking an MAOI that targets MAO-A’s (like caapi or rue) if taken in large enough amounts, it will also inhibit MAO-B levels. But check this out dude…

http://www.scribd.com/doc/3937611/The-Scientific-Investigation-of-Ayahuasca-A-Review-of-Past-and-Current-Research-

Look at the last paragraph on pg 67.

I think this is TERRIBLY interesting because….it may mean that those of us (me) who don’t usually have visual dreams and who seem to have blocked access to the visual side of the visionary experience (hardhead) may have HIGH MAO-B levels. This would explain a lot actually.

Oh yes, and the dopamine/MAO-B visionary conundrum continues!
Check out this article:

http://www.meaningofdreams.org/dream_theory/hobsondreamingprotoconsciousstate.htm

Notice the stuff under the heading of Modulation.

In fact, as I’m re-reading this I clicked on this link:

http://www.meaningofdreams.org/dream_theory/solmsdreamsprotectsleep.htm

Head down to the “Dreams are made in the Forebrain” part.

Now, I of course do have dreams. But by and large they are these weird “talking” dreams. Where I wake up and remember that my brain was engaged in strange thoughts or conversations or sentences more than visual scenes. I still get scenes occasionally but not like a lot of people.

I’m not saying that Serotonin still doesn’t have a huge role to play. But it may be more along the lines of the dopamine system being so depressed that the REM rebound phase (when you take 5-HTP) is the body over compensating with a huge dopamine rush. I’ve read conflicting reports about the relationship between dopamine and serotonin.

In some places, I’ve seen that there seems to be a teeter-totter like effect  between Serotonin and dopamine. Like if one is high the other is low. But other places I’ve seen that by raising one you somehow raise the other. Like the body is trying to keep a neuro-chemical homeostasis.  But I dunno dude…

Plus, I’m sure there is some role that endorphins play in all of this. But I don’t know just what that is yet.

Oh yea, and P.S.
Jung was a smoker...

http://briarfiles.blogspot.com/2010/01/featured-pipe-smoker-carl-jung.html

Meaning LOW MAO-B levels. Meaning, (maybe in logical leaps o' pleanty)..vivid dreams!

Anyway, now I’m off to bed just thought I would share this with you lol.

Talk to you later dude-

R

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