I just got back from a weekend trip to Hawaii, but before I left, I read an interesting study on donepizil. Donepizil is a substance that has been shown to help with Alzheimer's disease. It does this by increasing levels of a neurotransmitter in the brain called acetylcholine. As it turns out, acetylcholine is at high levels in the brain during dreaming sleep. Stephen LaBerge theorized that increasing these levels would induce lucid dreaming and it appears he was correct. In a 2004 randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled study involving 10 subjects, he found that the odds of having a lucid dream on donepizil 10 mg is 24.3 times higher than the odds of having a lucid dream on placebo. He also notes that they have tested rivastigmine (6-12 mg) and galantamine (8-16 mg) with the same results but "perhaps fewer side effects." It is unclear whether any other induction technique was used (in combination with the medications). This is very intriguing data and opens up a new avenue for lucid dream induction: substance induced lucid dreams. However, it also begs the ethical question of whether using a substance to induce lucid dreams is the right thing to do.



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