What are nootropics and how do they work
Nootropic drugs today have been very popular. Nootropics have been taken not only on prescription, but also independently, to improve memory and attention. How justified and, most importantly, safe?
What are nootropics?
This term implies a whole group of various drugs that have an effect on the work of the brain: intellectual activity, memory, and cognitive abilities. In addition, nootropics help the brain to cope with excessive loads, reduce the symptoms of brain damage, improve communication between brain structures.
The first such drug piracetam was obtained in 1963. He acted like psychostimulants, but did not, in contrast to them, have side effects that were characteristic of them.
The term “nootropics”, which means “direction of the mind” in Greek, appeared 10 years later.
What are nootropics?
In fact, under this word completely different groups of drugs are hidden, the only thing for them is that they affect brain activity.
Most nootropics help relax
There are so-called true nootropics, acting mainly on mental activity, the processes of remembering and reproducing information. Other drugs have the ability to prevent damage to brain cells, have a calming, relaxing, anticonvulsant effect.
The mechanism of action of nootropics
Nootropics act either directly on the nerve cell or on the cerebral circulation, enhancing and improving blood flow.
In the first case, the drugs affect the biochemical processes occurring in the nerve cells, thus activating their work. As a result, the exchange of glucose, nucleic acids and other substances necessary for brain activity improves.
Some nootropics increase the production of neurotransmitters – substances through which nerve impulses are carried out: serotonin, dopamine, norepinephrine.
Due to increased blood flow and improved blood circulation, more nutrients enter the brain, which improves its performance.
What effects do nootropics have?
Why do we need nootropics, how can they help?
1. Nootropic drugs help in violation of higher brain functions, acting on thinking, attention, speech.
Preparations make assimilating information faster.
2. They enhance memory, contribute to the memorization of information, learning.
3. They have a psychostimulating effect, removing lethargy, apathy and lethargy.
4. Contribute to clarity of consciousness, waking state.
5. Increase the brain’s ability to counteract negative factors.
6. Have an antidepressant effect.
7. Reduce irritability and emotional arousal.
8. When epilepsy and Parkinson’s disease contribute to the correction of neurological disorders.
How effective are nootropics?
It is difficult to answer this question. The fact is that these drugs have not been adequately investigated. Of course, some studies have been carried out, but they cannot be considered as conforming to standards of evidence-based medicine.
Usually conclusions about the effectiveness of nootropics were made on the basis of clinical observations, that is, a small group of patients were given the drug and monitored their condition .. And even the results of clinical observations do not allow us to say with confidence that nootropics really help.
Who needs nootropics?
Doctors-neurologists use these drugs in the rehabilitation after a stroke, traumatic brain injury. They are prescribed for epilepsy, dementia, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, multiple sclerosis, mental retardation in children and other diseases.
Most nootropics are prescribed for older people.
Do we need nootropics for healthy people to cope with large mental loads, it is better to absorb new information?
There are no verified data on this account. Yes, and get them hard: how to check whether the person has become a better think? And if so, did it happen due to the drug or for other reasons?
Subjectively, nootropics help someone, some do not. It all depends on the person, his body, and on the specific drug. After all, in fact, they are completely different groups of drugs, and they act in different ways.
It should be understood that the effect of nootropic drugs is cumulative (accumulative) character. This means that they will begin to act only after coursework in a few weeks. That is, to eat one pill and immediately “clean” the brains will not work.
Another point that must be taken into account when deciding to take a nootropic drug is how safe it is.
Most nootropics are considered fairly harmless. Their side effects are minimal and disappear as soon as the medication is stopped.
So, in many countries, nootropics, which are considered to be medicinal products in our country, are referred to as dietary supplements and are dispensed over-the-counter.