Nootropics are substances that are still relatively unkown to the bigger masses of people. Nootropical compounds are supposed to enhance or alter cognitive functioning. Most people are sceptical at first hand because they lack the experience and have a theory that "if something sounds to good to be true it usually is" . Also, though almost everybody pursues intellectual growth it is considered narcistic by mainstream opinion to openly express a wish to increase mental performance with unconventional methods.
One argument for nootropics is that many substances are known to be "dum" drugs. Name alcohol, scoplamine, anesthetics to name a few. These substances are known to have a negative influence on memory, cognition and motorical control. For sure it is not guaranteed that the possibility to make dummer means the opposite is possible, it does mean that the brain and resulting mental functioning and performance is not a rigid structure unaffected by external infuences.
Besides this in general medical practice substances that are considered nootropics by insiders are widely subscribed namely ritalin, anti-depressive agents and Alzheimer medication.
So what kind of substances are we talking about ? Nootropics can be seen in certain categories:
- Affecting neurotransmitters
- Affecting hormones
- Stimulating nerve growth
- Enhancing circulation and oxygen usage in the brain
These can be identified in many medicine and natural analogues. There are several different types of neurotransmitters with their own pathwaysand neurotransmitter: choline, GABA, serotonine, noradrenaline, dopamine and canaboid. Serotonine, Noradrenaline and Dopamine are called Mono Aminen. Compunds that affect the break down of these are known as MAO-inhibitors. MAO is short for Mono Amino Oxidase. These are substances active in synaptical clefts where they break down neurotransmitters. By inhibiting these substances neurotransmitters will be longer available and act longer. A natural example is Rhodiola Rosea a herb from Russia. It is known to be a MAO-B (subtype) inhbitor. In practical experience it improves mood.
Herbs like ginseng are known to have an influence on several hormone levels, or to have a analogue effect on physical systems.
Stimulating nerve growth
A mushroom called Lion's Mane seems to have a stimulating effect on nerve growth by promoting the level of a hormone called nerve growth factor. Also many other compunds are known to indirectly promote levels of nerve growth factor.
Several compounds are known to increase circulation in the body in general and brain. Ginkgo is widely known for this. Another compound reknown for this is vinpocetine.
Formulas are blends that contain several components all with a specific function. By using multiple components a broad improvement in mental functioning is targeted. An example is NZT.1 .