Nootropics – miraculous pills, that improve memory, attention, learning, eliminate apathy and depression, cheer up. The pioneer of this group of drugs has become Piracetam, synthesized in 1963. The name “nootropics” is translated from Greek as “changed mind”. These substances alter the mind through direct participation in a huge variety of biochemical processes. By acting on the higher nervous activity, they increase a man’s mental capacity.
What is this and how does it work? Psychostimulant agents were invented and popular before the advent of nootropics. These substances are characterized by: intensely stimulation of the central nervous system, increased stamina for a short time, reduced fatigue and need for sleep, causing a feeling of euphoria. However, there are three drawbacks, which spoil the reputation of psychostimulant – a lot of negative side effects, addiction, depression and lack of energy after the end of treatment. That’s why, the production and sale of psychostimulant agents is under control in most countries of the world. Perhaps the most famous representative of psychostimulant agents – is an amphetamine. Though, it refers to a drug, however, is present in the U.S. Army soldiers’ medikit. Psychostimulant have no equal, if you need to relieve fatigue, improve physical and mental activity, as soon as possible.
Nootropics, having in this case clear advantages over stimulants, are free of serious side effects. At the time of treatment, addiction and unwanted adverse reaction were noticed rarely. Drugs of this group have soft effect on the brain and nervous system. In order to achieve the desired effect, reception should be taken within 1 – 3 months. It is not recommended to experiment with doses and overdose, because in this case, the impact on the mind will be no better than with Psychostimulants.
What is the secret of nootropics success? Firstly, that they improve and restore the balance between excitatory and inhibitory responses in the brain, improve metabolism and energy processes in neuronal tissues. Plus, they help to protect neurons during oxygen starvation (such as drinking alcohol), i.e. protect the brain and nervous system of aging.
Below is a list of the most well-known nootropics:
Piracetam (Nootropil) – was the first one and now, is the most common drug among nootropics. The remedy improves memory, attention, helps with various neurological disorders, vascular diseases, injuries and sclerosis of the brain, as well as alcoholism. During the treatment is marked mood improvement and stabilization of brain function. Side effects are rare: mainly nausea, drowsiness, or vice versa agitation, dizziness, increased sex drive. The similar action and impact has the drug Phenotropil (Phenilpiracetami).
Acephen (Meclofenoxat, Cerutyl, Centrophenoxine) – is a derivative of acetylcholine (a chemical transmitter of nerve excitation), the most important element, which runs the entire nervous system of human. The drug helps to improve the blood circulation of the brain, thereby increasing its activity, restores and strengthens memory, improving the processes of excitation and inhibition, rejuvenates the cells of the brain. When used together with Piracetam and acetyl – L -carnitine the efficiency is increased. Side effects are typical for the nervous system in a regime of hard work. There are insomnia, increased appetite, anxiety. In the experiments on laboratory animals, it has been observed that the use of Acephen prolongs life by 36%.
Selegiline ( Umex, Deprenyl) – the same age as Piracetam. The drug is quite popular and often used in medical practice. At its pharmacokinetics, the substance is an inhibitor of monoamine oxidase (MAO-B ): Selegiline inhibits the action of substances which, in turn, inhibit the release of dopamine and phenylethylamine, enhancing mental activity and stimulating the nervous system, resulting in the feeling of pleasure. Up to 40 years, MAO-B and dopamine are in a certain balance in the body, but after – to increase the shortage of dopamine, patient have to take MAO-B inhibitors, which are present in Selegiline. That is, the drug is nootropic for aged people. It is used in treatment of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. The medication has a positive effect on the brain – improves its performance, contributes to better memorization, improves overall health and mood. Studies on rodents have confirmed the efficacy of the drug – the life of mice was increased by 30% while taking Selegiline. People over 40 years, receiving 5 mg of Selegiline per day can live for 15 years longer. The drug has side effects and they are quite diverse, but when taken in preventive measures, they are absent.
Of course, the list of currently used nootropics in medical practice is wider. All of the above drugs are prescribed by a doctor.
In addition to drugs, there are also natural substances with nootropic properties. Of course, their efficiency is lower, but in the same way, you will notice positive effect after few weeks of intake: improved attention, ability to remember, learning capabilities, better intelligence. This is due to refined blood circulation of the brain. The result is increased energy metabolism in the cells of the brain and bioenergetic processes in the nerve cells. Neurons are protected and work better.
Amino Acids. Many of them are neurotransmitters, in other words, are directly involved in the transmission of electrical impulses between nerve cells. The processes of excitation and inhibition is largely depend on them. Another important role of amino acids – their involvement in the metabolism of the brain. If amino acid is not enough, the supply of brain cells with glucose is disturbed, it increases their toxic damage. The above mentioned Acephen and Piracetam in essence – the modification of amino acids. Inside the body, they are converted into amino acids or participate in their creation. The most important amino acids are glutamic acid, gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA), glycine, taurine, proline.
Herbal substances that improve blood circulation and microcirculation of the brain (Ginkgo biloba). The most recognized plant with nootropics properties is considered to be an extract from the leaves of Ginkgo biloba. These drugs are used in the treatment of geriatric disorders and are in great demand in Europe. Active substances (flavone glycosides and terpene lactones) reduce permeability of vessels, supplying the brain with glucose and oxygen.
The use of nootropics.
To date, nootropics continue to be remedies with unproven positive influence. However, most of the medicines are allowed to be produced and widely used in the treatment of brain diseases and central nervous system, as well as in other therapeutic purposes:
— ementia, mental retardation;
— effects of cerebrovascular accidents, brain injury;
— intellectual-mental disorders (impaired memory, concentration, thinking);
— mental retardation;
— problems with speech (including stuttering);
— effects of cerebral palsy;
— attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD);
— drug intoxication (including psychotropic);
— neuroinfections consequences;
— neurotic disorders;
— vegetative-vascular dystonia;
— alcoholism (encephalopathy, psycho-organic syndrome, abstinence);
— improve mental performance.
In these latter days, nootropics are popular among students and creative individuals, which use them as cognitive enhancers in high intellectual periods.