Nootropics are drugs, supplements, nutraceuticals and foods that improve one or more aspects of mental function. Nootropics work on improving one or more of the following cognitive functions: memory , learning, motivation, focus / attention or mood.
The term Nootropic, which means “mind bend” in greek, was coined in 1972 by a Roman psychologist and chemist, Corneliu Giurgea.
Nootropics in Action
Nootropics work by either protecting and increasing the production or signaling of various neurotransmitters such as Acetylcholine, Serotonin, Dopamine, etc.
The brain is a network of neurons connected by synapses. This network communicates via chemicals known as neurotransmitters. Effective communication between this neural network leads to improved cognition in the form of improved memory, attention and focus. By working on facilitating transmission and increasing the amount of neurotransmitters Nootropics directly impact our cognitive well being.
Nootropics not only improve short term cognitive function, but they also have neuro-protective qualities that improve the plasticity of neurotransmitters and can also protect against the destruction of neurotransmitters. This leads to long term health improvements and the possible prevention or impact of dementia and Alzheimer’s .
Stimulants: (only effective in small amounts) Caffeine, Rhodiola Rosea
Nutraceuticals: Herbal supplements such as: Bacopa Monnieri, L-Theanine, Ginko Biloba, Huperzine A
Racetams: cognitive enhancers that are sold over the counter such as: pramiracetam, oxiracetam, coluracetam, and aniracetam
The world of nootropics is vast, but in future posts we hope to make this topic easier to understand and safe and practical to implement.