Nootropics, or ‘Smart Drugs,’ Are Gaining Popularity. But Should You Take Them?

The idea that a pill can supersize human intelligence is decidedly science fiction. But plenty of real-world researchers and drug-makers are working to develop nootropics: pills, supplements and other substances designed to improve various aspects of cognition. A rough translation for the word “nootropic” comes from the Greek for “to bend or shape the mind.” And already, there are dozens of over-the-counter (OTC) products—many of which are sold widely online or in stores—that claim to boost creativity, memory, decision-making or other high-level brain functions. Some of the most popular supplements are a mixture of food-derived vitamins, lipids, phytochemicals and antioxidants that studies have linked to healthy brain function. One popular pick on Amazon, for example, is an encapsulated cocktail of omega-3s, B vitamins and plant-derived compounds that its maker claims can improve memory, concentration and focus. But do “smart pills” really work? Many of these supplements include exotic-sounding ingredients. Ginseng root and an herb called bacopa are two that have shown some promising memory and attention benefits, says Dr. Guillaume Fond, a psychiatrist with France’s Aix-Marseille University Medical School who has studied smart drugs and cognitive enhancement. “However, data are still lacking to definitely confirm their efficacy,” he adds. Many of the food-derived ingredients that are often included in nootro...
Source: TIME: Health - Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Tags: Uncategorized Drugs Source Type: news

Related Links:

Authors: Ono Y, Yoshikura N, Takekoshi A, Ohe N, Hayashi H, Yamada M, Hayashi Y, Kimura A, Shimohata T Abstract A 57-year-old woman with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) receiving mechanical ventilation developed intractable right temporal headache. She was diagnosed with brain abscess secondary to chronic suppurative otitis media. In this case, the otitis media was caused by nasopharyngeal reflux associated with eustachian tube muscle weakness and a supine position. In addition, ALS patients under mechanical ventilation have a limited ability to convey their pain. Their complaints are often overlooked because m...
Source: Internal Medicine - Category: Internal Medicine Tags: Intern Med Source Type: research
Authors: Daida K, Ogaki K, Hayashida A, Ando M, Yokoyama K, Noda K, Kanbayashi T, Hattori N, Okuma Y Abstract A 67-year-old woman with neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder (NMOSD) developed severe somnolence. Ten days after admission, fluid-attenuated inversion-recovery magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) revealed hyperintense areas around the bilateral hypothalamus, which were not present on MRI at admission. The orexin level, which is decreased in idiopathic narcolepsy, was slightly decreased in her cerebrospinal fluid. Immunosuppressive treatment and methylphenidate markedly improved her somnolence. This case sho...
Source: Internal Medicine - Category: Internal Medicine Tags: Intern Med Source Type: research
Authors: Mochizuki N, Ano S, Kikuchi N, Sakai C, Masuda M, Kondo Y, Ishii Y Abstract A 54-year-old man started to take oren-gedoku-to (coptis detoxifying decoction) because he was experiencing chronic hot flashes, night sweats and insomnia. He developed a high fever from the day of intake. At day 17, he stopped taking oren-gedoku-to because of malaise and chills, and he was admitted to our hospital. Drug-induced pneumonitis was suspected, and all drugs were stopped. Consequently, his symptoms, laboratory data and chest X-ray findings markedly improved. The results of a lymphocyte stimulation test were positive for ...
Source: Internal Medicine - Category: Internal Medicine Tags: Intern Med Source Type: research
Publication date: Available online 14 October 2019Source: Canadian Journal of CardiologyAuthor(s): Ramiro Lizano Santamaria, Aamir Jeewa, Ari Cedars, Holger Buchholz, Jennifer ConwayAbstractThe use of ventricular assist device (VAD) support continues to increase and it is now considered part of the standard of care for most adult and children with end stage heart failure unresponsive to medical management. However, the application of VAD therapy in both the pediatric and adult population with congenital heart disease (CHD) has been less extensive and continues to face significant challenges. Nevertheless, the experience is...
Source: Canadian Journal of Cardiology - Category: Cardiology Source Type: research
Publication date: Available online 14 October 2019Source: Canadian Journal of CardiologyAuthor(s): Adam P. Deveau, Robert Sheldon, Connor Maxey, Deborah Ritchie, Steve Doucette, Ratika ParkashAbstractBackgroundVasovagal syncope occurs in>40% of individuals at least once in their lifetime. Sex-dependent differences in presentation and outcomes are not understood. We sought to determine differences in clinical presentation, treatment modalities and outcomes of vasovagal syncope between men and women.MethodsData was collected as part of the Prevention of Syncope Trials (POST) I and II, two multicenter, placebo-controlled, ...
Source: Canadian Journal of Cardiology - Category: Cardiology Source Type: research
Date: Tuesday, 10 29, 2019; Speaker: Christopher Ramsden, Clinical Investigator , National Institute on Aging; Building: Building 45 (Natcher Building); Balcony B
Source: NIH Calendar of Events - Category: American Health Source Type: events
Conclusions: Our findings suggest that adenine inhibits the growth of colon cancer cells. Anticancer activity of adenine in colon cancer cells is attributable to the activation of apoptotic signaling and in turn the AMPK/mTOR pathway. Adenine represents a natural compound with anticancer potency. PMID: 31611925 [PubMed]
Source: Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine - Category: Complementary Medicine Tags: Evid Based Complement Alternat Med Source Type: research
In conclusion, compared with placebo, Brazilian propolis supplementation did not influence the risk of atopic sensitization in infants and neither did it improve nor worsen nonspecific symptoms in either mothers or their infants. PMID: 31611924 [PubMed]
Source: Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine - Category: Complementary Medicine Tags: Evid Based Complement Alternat Med Source Type: research
In this study, allergic rhinitis (AR) disease targets and Xiang Ju tablet-associated targets were determined through the use of databases for the identification of putative therapeutic targets and then combined. After the production of a putative therapeutic target interaction network for Xiang Ju tablets against AR, topological analysis was used to determine the core targets of Xiang Ju tablets in AR treatment. For all putative therapeutic targets, analyses of biological function and pathway enrichment were performed to optimize the biological processes and key signaling pathways of Xiang Ju tablets in AR treatment. The t...
Source: Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine - Category: Complementary Medicine Tags: Evid Based Complement Alternat Med Source Type: research
In this study, we investigated the anti-inflammatory effects of Licania macrocarpa Cuatrec methanol extract (Lm-ME) in vitro and in vivo and found pharmacological target proteins of Lm-ME in TLR4-mediated inflammatory signaling. This extract reduced NO production and mRNA expression of inflammatory cytokines such as iNOS, COX-2, IL-6, and IL-1β. In the NF-κB- and AP-1-mediated luciferase reporter gene assay, transcription factor activities decreased under cotransfection with MyD88 or TRIF. Phosphorylated protein levels of Src, PI3K, IKKα/β, and IκBα as well as p50 and p65 in the NF-κ...
Source: Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine - Category: Complementary Medicine Tags: Evid Based Complement Alternat Med Source Type: research
More News: Adderall | Addiction | ADHD | Alternative and Complementary Therapies | Anxiety | Brain | Caffeine | Canada Health | Cardiology | Chemistry | Coffee | Complementary Medicine | Concerta | Diets | Fish | Flavonoids | France Health | Ginseng | Greece Health | Green Tea | Headache | Health | Heart | Herbs | Hyperactivity | Insomnia | Modafinil | Narcolepsy | Neurology | Neuroscience | Nutrition | Obstructive Sleep Apnea | Provigil | Psychiatry | Ritalin | Science | Sleep Apnea | Sleep Disorders | Sleep Medicine | Sports Medicine | Students | Study | Universities & Medical Training | Vitamins