Pregnenolone and its sulfate (pregnenolone sulfate) are excitatory neurosteroids – they stimulate the brain.
Pregnenolone is the main steroid produced from cholesterol.
It is produced in three main organs: The brain, gonads, and adrenal glands, but the salivary gland and white blood cells are also capable of producing pregnenolone.
Pregnenolone is neuroprotective and enhances learning and memory, and increases the amount of deep sleep.
Pregnenolone has a beneficial effect on mood.
Ever since the 1940s, pregnenolone was reported to have anti-stress and mood-elevating effects on factory workers, students, and pilots.
Pregnenolone has a beneficial effect in various neuropsychiatric disorders and relieves anxiety and depression.
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1) Is a Nootropic and Boosts Cognitive Function
Pregnenolone and pregnenolone sulfate act as signaling molecules in the brain where they stimulate neuronal activity.
Pregnenolone increases the growth of neurons.
Pregnenolone also improves neurological recovery.
Pregnenolone and pregnenolone sulfate protect neurons against cell toxicity and toxin-induced cell death.
Low blood levels of pregnenolone are found in the elderly, including those with dementia.
Pregnenolone regulates neuronal function by activating and deactivating GABA, NMDA, sigma-1, cholinergic, and dopamine receptors.
Pregnenolone sulfate decreases the activity of GABA receptors, kainate, and AMPA receptors, and increases the activity of NMDA receptors.
2) Improves Learning and Memory
3) Stimulates Deep Sleep
Pregnenolone and its derivative allopregnanolone stimulated deep sleep.
Low concentration of pregnenolone sulfate increased the amount of REM (paradoxical sleep), while high concentrations increased both REM and slow wave sleep (deep sleep).
Pregnenolone increased the amount of time spent in deep sleep.
4) Relieves Schizophrenia Symptoms
Pregnenolone can potentially be used to alleviate and treat certain symptoms of schizophrenia.
Pregnenolone levels are lowered in the brain of schizophrenic patients.
Elevations in pregnenolone and allopregnanolone after pregnenolone treatment in schizophrenia were correlated with cognitive improvements.
Treatment with pregnenolone sulfate reduced schizophrenia-like symptoms and rescued the cognitive deficits.
Pregnenolone reduced symptoms in patients with schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder.
Pregnenolone improved attention, verbal, and working memory performance in schizophrenic patients.
Low-dose pregnenolone together with antipsychotics reduced drug-induced side effects in schizophrenic patients.
5) Boosts Mood and Relieves Depression
Decreased pregnenolone and allopregnanolone levels have been linked to depression.
Pregnenolone has significant mood-stabilizing effects.
It also enhanced the activation of neurocircuits that control emotion.
Blocking allopregnanolone impaired social and emotional functioning.
In response to emotional cues, allopregnanolone reduced the activity in brain regions associated with the generation of negative emotions.
Pregnenolone reduces depression in patients with bipolar disorder, recurrent major depressive disorder, and history of substance abuse/dependence.
Depressive disorders are associated with neuronal abnormalities in brain microtubule function.