Due to NSI-189’s scarcity, it can be difficult to find reasonably priced, legitimate NSI-189.
For those who are unfamiliar with NSI-189, it’s a neurogenic antidepressant under clinical development by Neuralstem.
Sources include Longecity, or online nootropics stores that sell NSI-189 under the table.
A couple years ago, some nootropics vendors offered NSI-189 phosphate. But since NSI-189 is the patented, intellectual property of Neuralstem, they were forced to stop selling it after receiving a cease and desist. Neuralstem seems to aggressively issue such letters to halt the online sale of NSI-189.
This actually makes a lot of sense. Neuralstem has invested millions in developing NSI-189. They’re also protecting their intellectual property by not disclosing the mechanism of action of NSI-189.
NSI-189 robustly increase hippocampal neurogenesis, and possibly, hippocampal volume. Other antidepressants have this effect too. What sets NSI-189 apart is that Neuralstem identified NSI-189 by specifically screening for compounds that increase the size of the hippocampus in rodents. NSI-189 may prove to be a “disease-modifying” treatment for depression because it restores hippocampal volume. This effect has not yet been confirmed in humans.
Things you can do to avoid problems buying obscure research chemicals like NSI-189 online:
If buy NSI-189 online, you’ll want to see if its appearance and physical properties match online reports. This is called organoleptic verification, and is a crude method for identifying compounds.
Organoleptic verification refers to the practice of evaluating a compound based on its appearance (color, crystal structure), taste, and smell. NSI-189 is a white crystalline powder with a bitter taste. Depending on the source, the taste of NSI-189 has been described as mildly bitter to so bitter that it is difficult to get down. NSI-189 has a faint odor or no odor.
NSI-189 is not very dense. A 0.15cc scoop of NSI-189 phosphate corresponds to roughly 50mg. The NSI-189 dosage used in clinical trials conducted by Neuralstem ranged from 40-120mg.
You can discretely buy NSI-189 by visiting this longecity.org thread, registering an account, and private messaging a user who sells NSI-189. But it can be daunting and time consuming to comb through a hundred page forum thread.
When you decide to buy NSI-189, one consideration is which version you should get: phosphate or free base?
What sets NSI-189 apart from other antidepressants already on the market (e.g., SSRIs)?
Like NSI-189, selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors (SSRIs) also increase hippocampal neurogenesis. In fact, a famous paper published in Nature showed that SSRI-induced neurogenesis is required for the antidepressant effect. Hence, the fact that SSRIs increase serotonin in the synaptic cleft may be a kind of red herring; the "real" mechanism may in fact result from an increase in neuronal proliferation and integration of these nascent neurons into existing circuits.
Neuralstem identified NSI-189 using a novel approach (which is now patented). Instead of screening for drugs that increase synaptic serotonin or other monoamines, they directly screened a library of 10,000 compounds for their ability to increase neuronal proliferation, survival, and differentiation, leading to the discovery of NSI-189.