BLAST and Emotional Sensitivity

Q I use BLAST—Durk and Sandy’s productivity-enhancing Designer Food formulation—on a daily basis. One of the unanticipated benefits appears to be a significantly increased ability to remember a lot more when there is an emotional component to an event in my day. Is this unusual, or is it an aspect of a phenylalanine formulation?

PIERRE, Chicago, IL

A It appears to be related to enhanced norepinephrine levels that result from using a well-designed phenylalanine formulation. In a recent article in Cell,1 emotion was found to enhance our ability to form vivid memories, even of trivial events. The neurotransmitter norepinephrine was determined to play a central role in the emotional regulation of memory, allowing us to reasonably hypothesize that emotion enhances learning and memory.


  1. Hu H, Real E, Takamiya K, Kang MG, Ledoux J, Huganir RL, Malinow R. Emotion enhances learning via norepinephrine regulation of AMPA-receptor trafficking. Cell 2007;131(1):160-73.

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