I was reading a book on nootropics titled Encyclopedia of Mind Enhancing Foods, Drugs and Nutritional Substances by David W. Group. While I feel a lot of the information was irrelevant towards my goals, I found one compound that sounded really interesting.
Merely known as PRL 8-53, this strange substance can apparently greatly increase one’s short term memory as well as memory formation given the right circumstances.
PRL 8-53 and Memory
If you’ve ever read a book on random facts, you might know that the reason a lot of phone numbers are only seven digits is because that is what most people are capable of memorizing after a couple seconds of studying.
I’ve tested my short term memory on www.cambridgebrainsciences.com, and sure enough, on the digit memory test, I can memorize seven digits fairly easily. However, while under the effects of PRL 8-53, test subjects could memorize around 21 digits. Talk about statistically significant!
This sounded way too good to be true to me, so I did a little reading on it. Unfortunately, all the research on it was from the 1970’s and is very limited. I have not been able to find a reason as to why research was discontinued, but several theories on the internet float around. Perhaps funding was discontinued from pharmaceutical companies. Everything I read about PRL 8-53 seemed positive with nothing negative. So why don’t people know about it?
A similar substance created by the same creator Dr. Nikolas R Hanis, called PRL 8-147, was studied in the early 1980’s at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Though not as widely-tested (PRL 8-147 never passed rodent testing), it is similar in function and structure.
It is possible to order this compound, as there are numerous companies in China that can synthesize it, but with little information, and most of that old, I’m not sure I’m too keen to test it. I may revisit the idea later, but for now, my Noopept powder is sufficient (by the way, if you were wondering, this is where I buy noopept).
PRL 8-53 Additional Benefits
Given how popular this post is, I’ve decided to take another look at PRL 8-53 and see what new information has surfaced in the past year.
In the one human study done on PRL 8-53, there were some pretty amazing results. Each participant was given a placebo and PRL 8-53 at different times. They were then instructed to memorize 12 one syllable words. While on the placebo, they experienced minor improvements in their memory tests. While on PRL 8-53, however, their scores often times doubled, even in individuals with poor short term memory .
Individuals with poor short term memory also saw additional benefits that those with strong short term memory did not. Working memory (keeping details in the brain until it can cement into long term memory) improved by a reasonable margin. The study participants were asked to repeat back the memorized words after a 24 hours period and a 96 hour period. Individuals with poor short term memory saw marked improvement in their working memory; individuals with strong short term memory did not see a statistically significant increase.
So what does this mean for you? According to this study, individuals with poor short term memory can expect to see the greatest benefits. Not only will they be able to remember more information for short periods of time, their long term memory formation will see improvements as well. Individuals with strong short term memory can also experience benefits from PRL 8-53, but these are isolated to further improving their short term memory, but not memory formation.
PRL 8-53: Anecdotal Experiences
While PRL 8-53 only has one scientific study dedicated to human research, there are plenty of biohackers out there who have taken it upon themselves to give PRL 8-53 a try. By many accounts, PRL 8-53 is the strongest nootropic when it comes to actually feeling the effects. There is also debate as to whether it is actually a nootropic or a stimulant. What the redditors do agree on, however, is it certainly does seem easier to learn and remember information . The degree to how successful the memory recall and formation varies from user to user, but most individuals have had positive experiences.
In the same thread, however, one user complained of feeling “on edge and uncomfortable” particularly in social situations, but also while on their own as well . It also seems to interact poorly with antihistamines, causing tension headaches similar to caffeine withdrawal.
Another thread advises against taking PRL 8-53 sublingually as it numbs the mouth. Interestingly, this thread includes multiple accounts of anxiolytic effects, quite in contention with the previous account. One user described it as “a combination of 2g phenethylamine and a 10mg dose of noopept. I feel that tingly/itchy feeling on my skin that I associate similar to phenethylamine and the anxiolytic effects of noopept” . As this is a largely unstudied substance, it will probably be some time before ture benefits and side effects are determined.
PRL 8-53 Dosage Information
I have to stress that it is not recommended at this time take PRL 8-53 as very few studies have been conducted. However, in the study referenced above individuals were given 5mg. The patent information available for PRL 8-53 suggests a range of 0.01-4mg/kg of bodyweight. However, as that is a very large range, the ideal range is 0.05-1.2 mg/kg . This translates to 3.4mg-81.6mg for a 150 pound person and 4.55mg-109mg for a 200 pound person. In the human trial, no side effects were recorded; however, reduced motor activity was noted in mice and rats when given large doses of PRL 8-53 .
A far as the redditors’ dosing habits go, most agree effects set in quickly but the sensation of feeling the effects fade within 90 minutes or so. As such, many of them choose to take a 5mg dosage two to three times per day. So far, they have not reported any side effects of taking additional doses, but again I must stress they do so at their own risk.