The idea that makes nootropics so promising is simple: they could give us the option of improving our cognitive abilities by taking a dose, without suffering significant adverse effects.
What are nootropics?
The definition of the concept of “nootropics” is as open as its nature and potential. In fact, since the Romanian chemist and psychologist Corneliu E. Giurgea coined the term for the first time in the year 1972, what is understood by nootropic has evolved and taking on diffuse conceptual limits.
Defining the concept
That the nootropic concept is confusing and broad does not mean that there is no rough definition. In short, nootropics are a heterogeneous set of synthetic preparations and supplements that, once delivered in certain doses, have shown promising results in improving the functioning of certain brain functions related to cognition, i.e., mental processes Related to memory, intelligence, management of care and creativity.
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Nootropics, therefore, could be useful in improving the performance and mental agility needed to solve complex and difficult tasks, but may also play a role in preventing cognitive impairment.
It should be noted that nootropics are not simply psychostimulants, because they are also characterized by practically no adverse side effects or chemical dependence, and taking a proper dose does not become an immediate threat to the health of the person taking them. This differentiates them from stimulants like amphetamines.
That is why, although nootropics are also known as “cognitive drugs” or smart drugs , if we stick to the definition established by consensus would differentiate substances that damage health and make clear and irreversible wounds in the body, or Are toxic. While all substances that affect the functioning of neurons have side effects unrelated to the purpose for which the dose is taken, they may be of little importance or be of such low intensity that they are not considered harmful.
It is also worth bearing in mind that there are nootropic drugs and nootropic substances that are not considered drugs. The difference between the two is that the drugs are subject to medical indication and are sold in pharmacies, while the rest are available in a variety of stores, herbal shops, etc.
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The efficacy of cognitive enhancers
Now that we know the concept of nootropic in itself, we may wonder what these substances are, in practice. That is, how the definition fits with reality.
The effectiveness of nootropics has been called into question by the fact that many of the results obtained after years of research are inconclusive. Results have been obtained that confirm the expected effects through the use of these preparations, but there are also investigations that have given contrary results. In addition, since nootropics do not have to resemble each other in terms of their components or their proposed preparation or utility, discussing their effectiveness or inefficiency by encompassing them all implies an over-simplification.
However, what can be said of practically all nootropics is that, although some are promising, it is not yet known for what extent they are effective and useful to be introduced in the day to day of people Healthy or with symptoms of dementia. To clarify these points will require years of research and joint efforts to demonstrate scientifically its usefulness.