Several months ago, I began to experiment with nootropic substances.
That’s not as scary as it sounds, I promise. In fact, you may be so suitably impressed by the info in this blog post that you want to try them yourselves. Go right ahead; it’s a free country. But these series of posts on nootropics should not be interpreted or used as medical advice, and are simply intended to be informational. Any actions you take are your own responsibility, and I suggest consulting with your physician first. This becomes a very strong suggestion if you are taking any prescription meds. Also, this is a blog entry, so it’s a work in progress. I’ll be adding citations, editing content, and maybe even adding pictures as I have time, so your mileage may vary.
So exactly what are these “nootropics”? From the greek, we have noos (mind) and tropein (turn/bend). More plainly speaking, nootropics are “smart drugs” – brain-enhancing substances that improve cognition through various nutritive and/or drug-like effects.
Within peak performance, anti-senscence, medicine and psychology circles the term generally refers to substances that have few to no side effects and improve how the brain (typically the cortex) functions. Caffeine might be considered a nootropic, although it probably has too many side effects to truly be called one. Omega-3 fatty acids are probably a good example of a subtle nootropic. Substances like modafinil (Provigil) and either Adderal or methylphenidate (Ritalin) and it’s friends should probably not be termed nootropic. The psychostimulants carry some of the same cognitive, attentional, and learning and memory benefits as nootropics but often come with steep side effects, ranging from blood pressure and heart problems to maturational retardation or even sudden death. Various b-vitamin derivatives, plant substances, hormone/neurotransmitter-modifiers and some designer substances probably are. In contrast, these nootropics tend to increase oxygen absorption, support cellular metabolism, and/or increase and resupply specific neurotransmitters.
Continue reading “Introducing Nootropics: Piracetam”