Pharmaceutical cognitive enhancers are used primarily to treat cognitive or motor function difficulties attributable to disorders such as Parkinson's, Alzheimer's disease, Huntington's disease, and ADHD.
What Are Nootropics?
Nootropics (new-tro-piks) (from Greek "noos" = mind and "tropos" = changed, toward, turn), also called smart drugs, cognitive enhancers, memory enhancers, neuro enhancers, or intelligence enhancers, are drugs, supplements, nutraceuticals, and food stuffs that are said to improve aspects of mental function.
Specific enhancements are alleged to include improvements to working memory, motivation, and attention. Unlike illicit drugs, they are not intended to create a "high". Users take these supplements in order to improve their ability to learn, create and recall memories, reason, and concentrate.
Psycho-stimulants like Adderall and Ritalin, two other widely used "smart drugs," were developed for individuals with diagnosed attention deficit disorder, and have been used instead by students for enhanced focus.
The use of prescription stimulants such as dimethylamylamine and methylphenidate is becoming prevalent among students attending academically competitive colleges. According to a report by the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration around 137,000 American college students start abusing prescription stimulants each year.
Just Some of the Nootropic Types Include:
About This Image: Assortment of multi-colored pills and capsules. A chemical originally discovered by Russian researchers. Used to improve cognitive function, treat neurological disorders, and protect the brain. Believed to be effective as it allows connections to be strengthened between left and right brain hemispheres. When this occurs, communication is said to be strengthened. Also said to eleiminate free radicals within the brain, thus preventing neurological disorders. A increase in neuron and synapse growth, contributing to improved long-term memory has been reported. Noopept is said to be up to 1,000 times stronger than piracetam.
(Moda) Approved by the U.S. FDA to treat narcolepsy, sold in the U.S. under the brand name Provigil. Considered a stimulant like Adderall and Ritalin, people are taking it without a prescription in the hopes of improving cognitive abilities. This supplement is commonly sold under the name "Alertec." Modafinil is regulated throughout the United States. It is being used as a narcolepsy drug. You will need to obtain a prescription from your doctor for Modafinil, which is why many turn to Adrafinil (see below) use instead.
U.S. FDA approved for treating obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), narcolepsy, severe daytime sleepiness and sleep disorders, Adrafinil was previously sold under the brand name "Olmifon." Adrafinil is classified as a central nervous system (CNS) stimulant, structurally similar to modafinil. According to reports, benefits include razor-like focus, increased motivation and alertness, increased learning ability and capacity, as well as enhancement memory, mental power and energy. This specific nootropic drug is currently also being sold under different brand names such as Provigil, Alertec and Modavigil. Once taken, Adrafinil is converted into Modafinil. Modafinil is more tightly regulated, while Adrafinil is not. Adrafinil can be purchased with prescription in Europe. Adrafinil is legal in the United States but is unregulated. You need to purchase this supplement online, as it is not a prescription drug at this time. This drug is also unregulated in Canada, however, it can be legally bought as research material or imported privately.
(DM-235) - A piperazine derived research chemical which has effects in animal studies with much higher potency than piracetam. Currently Sunifiram not been subjected to toxicology testing, nor to any human clinical trials, and is not approved for use anywhere in the world. Sunifiram is said to improve memory function, decision making, alertness, learning, focus, attention span, better overall cognition, and help prevent further cognitive decline.
(sold under many brand names) - A nootropic drug is the prototype for Racetam supplements, which are a group of synthetic supplements intended to provide a cognitive boost. In the U.S., it is not approved by the US FDA for medical use and it is not permitted to be sold as a dietary supplement.
Important Note: Long-term safety data is unavailable for some types of nootropics. Further detailed information regarding "cognitive enhancement by drugs in health and disease", can be found at www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3020278/
Article and list is a work in progress and will be expanded on.