Nootropics are pharmaceutical remedies that enhance the cognitive processes in the brain, exert neuroprotective effects and are void of any sort of toxicity.
Criteria for Nootropic Medication:
1. Stimulates memory and learning processes
2. Stimulates learning behaviours in circumstances that are designed to obstruct them.For example: in hypoxic conditions (insufficient oxygen intake)
3. Prevent physical or chemical damage of the brain
4. Boost control processes that happen in the brain cortex and in subcortical regions.
5. Are associated with minimal adverse effects, exhibit negligible toxicity, and are not accompanied by the traditional effects of psychotropic medication (stimulation of the motor function and sedation).
Nootropics have been formulated from herbal extracts, and they contain biologically active compounds that possess the capacity to enhance the cognitive brain function, memory, intelligence, drive and concentration. These positive effects exerted on the central nervous system have earned them the name “smart drugs”, which are gradually becoming the daily supplements of highly active and motivated individuals who aspire to become successful. Nootropics can be formulated as herbal extracts or can be elaborated as nutritional supplements for an enhanced brain productivity. The most popular nootropics were discovered due to their beneficial effects on the recovery of individuals affected by neurologic degenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s, which cause brain damage through loss of nerve cells.
Some people find it difficult to believe in these wonderful properties exhibited by nootropic supplements, but it is just a normal response to previously unknown facts and studies. Some individuals may ask the question “Why aren’t they used by everyone?” The answer lies in the novelty of the most recent pharmaceutical findings associated with nootropic intake, and the false belief maintained by some regular nootropic consumers who view it as a sort of cheating and alteration of the normal brain function. It is perfectly acceptable to be skeptical at first, especially when it comes to some biologically active substances you put into your own body. However, we are dedicated to providing only the most accurate information and research results, encouraging potential customers to research facts on their own, unlike other supplement dealers and distributors who are just eager to obtain sales. Moreover, we have made it easier for curious readers who want to do more research into this fascinating topic by providing them with carefully selected citations and links to serious medical research.
The essentials of brain function are helpful to understand how nootropics can exerts their positive effects on the cognitive processes of the central nervous system. The brain is a collection of interconnected neurons, which communicate with each other through electrical impulses. The number of neurons possessed by the brain of a healthy individual varies between 20 billion and a trillion. These numerous neurons are the pathways that are used for information transfer originating in the brain to almost every part of the body. Virtually all biological processes that occur in the human body are initiated by some sort of nerve-mediated information sent through the pathway of a nerve to stimulate a particular response. Every neuron is filament-like cell, and the multitude of neurons that make up the central nervous system are connected to each other to create a sophisticated network that is able to process complex information and perform a variety of functions. Individual neurons are not in physical contact with each other, instead they communicate through a tiny gap junction between the head of a neuron and the tail of a neighbouring neuron. The small spaces that separate adjacent neurons are known as synapses, which allows the passage of information through them to facilitate the transmission of the signal to the destination.
Synapses are the narrow spaces where chemical “messengers” diffuse across the membrane from one neuron to the next. The neuron that acts as a sender releases the chemical messengers that attach to the receptors located on the external membrane of the neuron that acts as a receiver. The image to the left illustrates the sender and the receiver neurons at the top and at the bottom, respectively. The receiving neuron cell has receptors incorporated in the cellular membrane, and the sending one produces and releases biologically active substances called neurotransmitters, which diffuse in the space between two neighbouring neurons and attach to their target receptors on the next neuron. The attached neurotransmitter will elicit a biological response in the neuron that received the chemical information. The type of response differs among different varieties of neurons, neurotransmitters and receptors. The receiver neuron has three different options on how to proceed in processing the incoming information. It may facilitate the transmission of the message to other neurons by releasing its own set of neurotransmitters to the neighbouring neuron, it may block the signal completely, or it may stimulate an effector cell to perform a particular biological function, if it is located at the end of the nervous pathway.
Summarizing the facts – synapses are small spaces between neighbouring neurons that are not physically attached, chemical “messengers” known as neurotransmitters originating from one neuron cross into the gap and attach to a receptor on the next neuron. The result is the continuation of the nerve impulse transmission by the receiving neuron through its own release of active neurotransmitters. In certain circumstances, the signal may be blocked at a particular neuron, or the signal may cause a target cell to perform a specific physiologic function, if the nervous pathway end is reached. The response type depends on the neurotransmitter variety involved in the signal, the way it stimulates the receptor, the times of the interaction, the concentration and the receptor attachment type in the synapse.
Pharmaceutical drugs are designed based on this classical scenario or model because it is the essential mechanism for virtually all biological functions in the body. There are several varieties of “messengers” that are used for information transmission and various types of signals that are sent through a nerve pathway. The pharmaceutical science is based on the receptors and how drugs or chemicals attach to them, which facilitates some degree of control over the body through the stimulation of the receptors or enhancing the production of bodily neurotransmitters.
A nerve pathway that may serve as an example is the release of norepinephrine (adrenaline) triggered by stress exerted by the environment on the human body translated into fear. Once released, adrenaline attaches to its target receptors in a manner similar to a lock and a key, which results in a nervous signal being elicited at the end of the neuron, which causes a new release of adrenaline into the next synapse. The nervous signal can travel through millions of neuron cells until it reaches its target cells and facilitates a precise biological response. The excitation associated with fear can cause a widespread response in the body, consisting of pupil dilation, diminished appetite, increased brain alertness, a rapid heart rate and a considerably improved reaction time. In a manner similar to this example, the body can alter its biological function based on a stimuli from the environment, such as feeling fearful or smart drugs like nootropics. A short example of an opposite reaction would be the effects caused by ethanol or alcohol on the brain. It penetrates the cortical region of the brain and stimulates high levels of a neurotransmitter called GABA and diminishing levels of Glutamine. Changing the balance between these neurotransmitters causes substantial brain function inhibition, resulting in an overall bodily fatigue, impaired reasoning capacities, low mental focus and alertness.
Memory, mental concentration, satiety and food intake, mood and focus are all brain functions that can be altered based on the normal physiological processes described earlier, which means that recent discoveries in pharmaceutical science create the opportunity to modify these functions as needed. Unfortunately, the old drug design science was based on imprecise concepts, which resulted in the improper use and exhaustion of neurotransmitter reserves and excessive influence on the receptors. It resulted in drug withdrawal symptoms, drug abuse and bothersome adverse effects. Many individuals preserve the false belief that all drugs that exert a positive influence on brain functions have these unavoidable disadvantages. Fortunately, recent medical research allows us to gain a better understanding of the adverse effects, facilitating a more precise and accurate approach to changing and adjusting the brain function to satisfy certain mental focus demands without being associated with annoying side effects.
Nootropics exert their influence on the brain by modulating memory and stimulation systems, which usually takes place indirectly through the activation of the neurotransmitters already existing in the brain. In certain circumstances, some nootropics can oppose the inhibitory brain systems to avoid mental fatigue. Certain nootropic supplements influence memory-processing brain regions specifically to enhance their efficiency and the ability to fixate and learn new information.