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Have I been making sense lately / do I ever make sense anyway / Propranolol and Autism

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posted on Jan, 14 2014 @ 11:18 PM
Hey guys,

I started a new medicine Propranolol recently that has some weird effects, one of them is memory loss (the type of memory loss being that I lose my photographic memory and also act kind of like I have dementia sometimes) and also, apparently an inability to write concise posts. I was just wondering if anyone noticed any changes or whatnot. I've started to ramble. More often. Not just in this thread.

Some background on Propranolol so this thread isn't entirely wasted - it is a medicine that is usually used for anxiety (the reason I take it) but it is a performance enhancing medicine that is used by both stand-up comedians and Olympic Archers to steady their hand.

It is being experimented with as a cure for P.T.S.D. and autistic symptoms - in fact, there have been extremely recent studies (as in since I graduated college in 2010) that seem to point to it having a "sudden and drastic" effect on autistic symptoms, especially socialization - it can cause an autistic person to stop being as shy and speak more often.

Sources in a moment for parents and such.

I researched the drug in more detail and it seems to act on the amygdala - which, from what I can tell, seems to be a place where thoughts go to mingle, possibly while being sorted from short-term to long term memory (this is not official this is my take).

Besides the effect that the Propranolol had on my anxiety, it also had an effect on my P.T.S.D. - I usually have very low amounts of activity during the day and time seems to be stopped. However, after taking the Propranolol, I started functioning much faster and in the normal person's moment (my usual moment can last anywhere from a few days to a few months).

Further reading:

Wikipedia: Propranolol

Effect of Propranolol on Functional Connectivity in Autism Spectrum Disorder

Open Trial on Effects of Beta Blockers on Speech and Social Behaviors of 8 Autistic Adults

Ugh... I was getting somewhere on this research the other day but I can't remember the other sources I had - basically, I was also looking into white matter and in addition to that checking into the long-term effects of Beta Blocker use during development.

On another note, beta blockers can be used in order to (supposedly) retain facts from a situation while taking away BIAS - that's right - emotional attachment. It is ridiculous. They have been shown in studies to do away with racism and sexism and the like.

Although, in my case, this definitely happens, I also experience memory LOSS.
edit on 14pmTue, 14 Jan 2014 23:28:07 -0600kbpmkAmerica/Chicago by darkbake because: (no reason given)

edit on 14pmTue, 14 Jan 2014 23:29:41 -0600kbpmkAmerica/Chicago by darkbake because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 14 2014 @ 11:34 PM
reply to post by darkbake

Thanks for providing your personnal experience towards Propanolol in addition to some more interesting informations which I didn't know (the fact about archers for example).

Propanolol is mainly used as a beta blocker in order to treat hypertension, but I'm surprised it can cause temporary loss of memory.
edit on 14-1-2014 by St0rD because: (no reason given)

edit on 15-1-2014 by St0rD because: Spelling

posted on Jan, 14 2014 @ 11:49 PM
reply to post by St0rD

Actually, yes it is a medicine used mainly for blood pressure or something of that nature - however it has been found to be very useful within the past few years in areas that are still considered experimental and not official -

But it has amazing effects on P.T.S.D., anxiety, autism and even psychopathy, the three besides anxiety are pretty hard to treat, P.T.S.D. not as much, autism nearly impossible, and psychopathy has been considered entirely untreatable until recently with advances like this and cognitive-behavioral therapy.

I think the memory loss I experience is an unusual side effect because I have a photographic memory, and am used to remembering conversations from up to 20 years ago plus, for example. In reality, I think this photographic memory was probably hindering other types of memory, I think it was an effect of P.T.S.D.

In the original studies done with Propranolol and P.T.S.D. there was an interest in the ethics of the drug especially regarding combat situations, and scientists founds that even though the emotional attachments to the situation were forgotten, the facts remained in place so that soldiers could be debriefed and testify and such still.

I have been doing research on psychopathy lately, and psychopaths lack white matter - which is the part of the brain that acts like network cables to link different gray matter areas together -

A psychopath may have a lot of trouble with impulse control and also becoming engrossed in culture, that's the best way I can say what I'm trying to say, and Propranolol seems to help these issues.

It is interesting - since I have been friends with sociopaths before and been quite level with them, I look at it as a neurological disorder that can lead to violent behavior when someone becomes frustrated about not being able to function in life. Some with anti-social personality disorder are not violent at all, just hopelessly optimistic about things that don't ever reach fruition, or develop coping mechanisms to socialize and make it in society, although it's not like some won't be your friend one day and threaten to harm you the next.
edit on 15amWed, 15 Jan 2014 00:00:00 -0600kbamkAmerica/Chicago by darkbake because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 15 2014 @ 12:07 AM
reply to post by darkbake

My VA doc asked me if I'd try it for my PTSD which can be pretty extreme and somewhat debilitating at times. I refuse the serotonin crap she was giving me so she's been looking at other options. I looked into a bit but it's good to hear your first-hand experience.
I'm still undecided but she keeps pushing it.

posted on Jan, 15 2014 @ 12:25 AM
reply to post by 35Foxtrot

I would try it - I can see why you don't want to take the Seratonin, I don't like that genre of medications. My mother, for example, was on it and slept the whole ten years she was - in my case, it made me develop foggy thinking.

The good thing about the Propranolol is that it has a short half-life, so it will leave your system naturally and can be taken as-needed, even if you are supposed to be taking it 3 times a day or whatnot. While the S.S.R.I.'s have drastic withdrawal effects.

It is very interesting. I was having terrible panic attacks for a long time, also, for example, when fireworks went off on New Year's, I thought they were gunshots until I got myself figured out. It is interesting. It reduces anxiety, but in an interesting manner...

I would recommend (talking to your doctor and) trying it and then stopping it if you don't like it, or maybe just taking it as needed. Possibly just trying a few doses at first to see what happens. It affects my social interactions - it turns out in a positive manner, but the change was what was more worry-some for me at first.

It is similar to Xanex in that you can pop one of them and it can help with an acute episode, but it also has a decent half-life (of 4 hours) so taking one three times a day can seem like it's a more long-acting med. Sometimes, though, I will stop it for a half day or so to clear it out of my system. Luckily, it is one that is safe to take as needed.

Although if you have any structures or organizations or whatnot / stuff like that you maintain for comfort, which I do, it is a bit weird, those can fall apart a bit (probably due to emotional attachments being separated from factual mechanisms).

It is interesting, though, it is a natural process, it doesn't feel the same as other medicines like the Seratonin ones where I can tell there is something weird going on I'm not entirely in control of.
edit on 15amWed, 15 Jan 2014 00:29:26 -0600kbamkAmerica/Chicago by darkbake because: (no reason given)

edit on 15amWed, 15 Jan 2014 00:30:40 -0600kbamkAmerica/Chicago by darkbake because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 15 2014 @ 01:19 AM
Hey man, I've also been through the up's and down's of PTSD from a young age, I had to move shortly thereafter and became quite introverted once I arrived at the new place. I would consider most of my life to have "autistic" tendencies but only in the aspect of constant social unawareness and my inability/desire to take notice of the reactions of those around me. The biggest thing I've learned about life is the power of expectation into deteriorating ones mental state. It is only when we finally stop falling back onto those stereotyical mainstream 'rules' of expectant mannerism, that we can really get what we want out of life: happiness. Example: if your used to your rents doing stuff for you and they one day stop, if you already got rid of that expecation side of you, well the situation tends to turn out a lot less dramatically than if you do. That's another thing- stress literally kills and leads to the majority cardiovascular-related deaths.... keep that in mind when you picutre your anxiety- you are only anxious because you care too much. Just say '# off' to that controlling side and start doing things out of routine just to prove a point to yourself. It's things like that that really bring things back into balance. Just my two pence and sorry for rambling!
edit on 15-1-2014 by doesntmakesense because: title change

posted on Jan, 15 2014 @ 01:30 AM
reply to post by darkbake

Yeah. Thanks. The only thing she gives me that helps is the Xanax like you mention; so maybe since you say it works similarly, I'll give it a shot.

The only thing holding me back was that she mentioned it can cause one to really separate memories from feelings/emotions about those memories. That may be a good thing and it might be nice to still remember the # from over there without getting all worked up, but I don't know that I'd like that to be the case with all memories... I'd like to keep the emotional aspect of memories of my kids, family, girlfriend, etc...

But, thanks again for the insight.

posted on Jan, 15 2014 @ 07:53 AM
reply to post by darkbake

Hi darkbake,
I don't think we've ever communicated with each other here before, but I just want to tell you that I will ALWAYS read a thread authored by you. You DO make sense and I've never seen you...ramble...!
Lately I have noticed that a lot of people are complaining about memory loss. Not just older folks...not just people on medications. I don't have any explanation for this, but I find it intriguing.
I'm sure I'm not the only member who respects your contributions!

posted on Jan, 15 2014 @ 03:07 PM
reply to post by darkbake

I was on Propanolol for an arrhythmia problem a decade or so ago. My docs figured that it could do double duty as I was still just a few years out from the onset of PTSD and the drug both was an anxiety drug and beta blocker. So two birds and one stone drug for me. How effective it was for anxiety, PTSD symptoms, or even my autistic symptoms, I do not know. I can't comment either on memory loss as I was already having short term memory issues due to TIA damage so not really helpful there, lol.

The one thing that I do know is that I'm not a very good public speaker typically. I barely scraped through a speech class and for every presentation that I had to do for all my other classes, I had a tendency to zone out and go into autopilot. However, when I was on the Propanolol, I had an evening where my dad wanted to duck out of an awards ceremony and sent me in his stead with zero warning that I was going to be accepting about 14 awards on his behalf (a record for the entity) or that I would have to give a speech. (Hence why he sent me instead because he hated speeches, too. He's a bit of a jerk, lol.) Oddly enough, I didn't go into autopilot on the stage and gave an apparently great and inspirational impromptu speech based on the audience response at the time and afterward when the president of the company was escorting me around. Never knew how I pulled that off, especially after my more recent failures at public speaking, lol. Now I know that it was probably because of the Propanolol. I can see why comedians et al use it.

I can also see how it would actually work to reduce autistic symptoms as well. It is, after all, used to treat anxiety and one of the most common symptoms of autism is anxiety. We tend to get overloaded and anxious by the stuff going on around us (over-stimulation). Nothing makes me freak out more than a bunch of loud noises that just won't stop. In fact, that's the time when most people lose all doubt that I am, in fact, autistic because I'll get the heck out of dodge and fast (as I note a weird hum in my room and it's bothering me lol ARGH). Propanolol would probably work to reduce the anxiety that both physical and emotional over-stimulation produces. (Autistics don't lack empathy but are overloaded with it and shut down.) In terms of bias though, from what I understand, there's been some research that has been done that points to autistics not being prone to bias already so that'd be a null there.

When I actually have insurance again, I might look into getting on Propanolol again as this time, I'd know that it would be 4 birds and one stone. Can't beat that.

In terms of posting differences, yes, you're a little more rambling than usual.

posted on Jan, 15 2014 @ 04:36 PM
reply to post by darkbake

*Do not answer any medical questions publicly here!Thanks

As an EMT (Im not qualified further)...who may have to take a 911 call from your house, Im curious as to what other meds your are taking and why. (PLEASE DO NOT ANSWER THAT. In USA HIPPA laws).

It matters that you take that into consideration as well as age, meds, diet etc. As with everything you take, there are whats called "contra-indications". These can be reasons NOT to take a med because of a combination of any of the above factors and issues using them alone or together may cause.

Personally speaking as an EMT (and only as)...I'd ask you basic questions (and you can ask yourself).
1. What meds are you taking? What dosage? Have you taken them today?
2. What are your symptoms? Is this the 1st time you've had issues?
3. IMPORTANT ONE. Have you taken any over-the-counter meds today? Do you usually take them with your prescriptions/

At this point, I would not be qualified to do anything further nor make any assumptions nor ascertations of any of your issues.

See your doctor. Tell him what you told us here. Better yet? Dont be afraid to show him/her your thread here.

Advanced Disaster Life Support

posted on Jan, 15 2014 @ 07:33 PM
reply to post by jacygirl

Aww... thanks, JacyGirl

Daenerys is my favorite Game of Thrones character.

posted on Jan, 16 2014 @ 01:55 AM
Propranolol/beta blockers are effective for anxiety conditions without directly reducing anxiety (as, for example, benzodiazepines do).

They slow down the breathing and heart rate, thus making it difficult to feel anxious...because your breathing and heart rate increase when you are anxious.

Please be careful - DO NOT suddenly stop taking this drug, as it could cause arrhythmias and possible cardiac arrest.

posted on Jan, 31 2014 @ 08:12 PM

edit on 1/31/2014 by unb3k44n7 because: (no reason given)

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