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🤔 Nootropics: "Smart Drugs"

Old 11-08-19, 04:25 AM
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🤔 Nootropics: "Smart Drugs"

Nootropics, widely called “smart drugs” helps improve cognitive functions, enhances memory and brain performance; a group of drugs and supplements, and other substances that help enhance creativity and motivation, in healthy individuals. Has anyone tried them? Research shows some promising benefits with many of the newer varieties.

Here are some common ones most of us are already familiar with:

CBD -- it has been demonstrated to protect brain cells, and help with anxiety, depression, stress, sleep, and addiction.

Coffee -- Coffee is considered a nootropic because it contains caffeine. With nootropic coffee, you can get the benefit of coffee and nootropics in your favorite morning cup of joe.

  • Ginkgo Biloba
  • Nicotine
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Old 11-08-19, 05:09 AM
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.Of all the ones you listed coffee is the only one which works, all the other ones are a scam or are harmful to long term health.
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Old 11-08-19, 05:16 AM
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Some of the greatest minds in this world such as inventors and scientists and artists who made great contributions to society never used any of that crap which you listed. Cognitive function and smartness is a genetic gift and there is no supplement out there that actually works to improve it.
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Old 11-08-19, 09:30 AM
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Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
Some of the greatest minds in this world such as inventors and scientists and artists who made great contributions to society never used any of that crap which you listed. Cognitive function and smartness is a genetic gift and there is no supplement out there that actually works to improve it.
You sure about that?

Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
.Of all the ones you listed coffee is the only one which works, all the other ones are a scam or are harmful to long term health.
Lets keep an open mind shall we. If no one else provides input, I'll do the test myself and post the results. Stay tuned.
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Old 11-08-19, 10:10 AM
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Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
Some of the greatest minds in this world such as inventors and scientists and artists who made great contributions to society never used any of that crap which you listed.
Some of the greatest minds in history were also on everything they could try. I won't bother to argue whether it helped or hurt, though.
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Old 11-08-19, 01:46 PM
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very interested. if you or a loved one were starting to show the effects of dementia or Alzheimer's why not try it and see if it worked?
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Old 11-08-19, 01:48 PM
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I'm sure CBDs have some medical uses/benefits for specific conditions. They're being sold as if they're everything to everyone, and they absolutely cannot live up to all the hype. I guess it's not their fault they're being hyped so much. But think of it this way, if CBDs did half the things people say they did, "big pharma" never would have allowed them to be legalized. Seems to help people with arthritis.

Coffee is great because it tastes good!

Creatine has been clinically shown to improve cognitive function, but some people respond to it and some do not.
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Old 11-08-19, 02:33 PM
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Having a strong sense of purpose, having goals in life is the best stimulant for the mind. You don't need supplements which don't work.
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Old 11-08-19, 02:41 PM
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Originally Posted by KraneXL View Post
Lets keep an open mind shall we. If no one else provides input, I'll do the test myself and post the results. Stay tuned.
I don't care what your results are. You're not going to convince me that the list of crap which you posted has any beneficial effect on the mind.
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Old 11-08-19, 04:48 PM
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One of the unfortunate realities of life for some folks is chronic pain, due to injury, illness or aging. Pain is a distraction that hinders clear thinking. Anything that reduces pain may help restore cognitive function. CBD -- at least the full spectrum type -- is an effective analgesic for some folks (including me), without causing excessive drowsiness. It's mildly relaxing. For some folks that reduction in anxiety may also help them achieve their full cognitive potential. So by association it's good for restoring cognitive function. But so would NSAIDs if they worked as effectively.

But I have no opinion on the claims for CBD being an effective anti-inflammatory or nootropic. Not enough research with a large enough sampling group. I do recall from using weed in my misspent youth 50+ years ago that it didn't improve my cognitive function. Being stoned is the opposite of clear linear thinking. For some folks it may stimulate abstract thinking. I haven't had that experience with CBD.

Kratom has a similar effect, particularly the green vein, white and yellow versions, which are mild stimulants comparable to caffeine, with analgesic properties a little stronger than NSAIDs or CBD. I find it helpful in small doses, usually mixed with cold coffee, protein powder and other supplements. It's bitter so the better tasting whey protein powders help mask the taste.

But because it's not semi-mainstream like CBD, caveat emptor -- anyone thinking of using kratom should carefully study the many anecdotes and omit the extreme opinions, pro and con. The truth is somewhere in the middle. It isn't a good recreational drug, and should be regarded and used like we'd use caffeinated beverages or mild analgesics. There's also some risk of health concerns but that's true of anything in large doses. Most reliable vendors test for contaminants -- heavy metals, e coli, salmonella, etc., which addresses one of the problems often exaggerated by news reports.

Some common and mainstream supplements may have some nootropic effect, or at least restore normal cognitive functions, by improving circulation. Poor circulation is a common problem with elderly and disabled folks who tend to be sedentary. Amino acids like l-arginine, niacin (vitamin B3) and others have been shown to improve circulation and respiratory function. That can help with blood oxygen for the brain.

But if there's a miracle supplement out there, I haven't found it. My mom suffered from dementia for a decade, dying last year (as of tomorrow) from pneumonia after she was finally worn down by arthritis, severe osteoporosis, essential tremors (confusingly called "Parkinsonism" or "Parkinsonia tremors" although she did not have Parkinson's) and other problems. Her doctor diagnosed Alzheimer's but I doubt they did the tests to definitively make that diagnosis. Mom wanted a name for her malady so I think they gave her one. She hated the "D" word, and Alzheimer's and Parkinson's sounded less pejorative to her.

For years I tried all kinds of supplements in addition to changing her diet to just basic healthy food without so much sugar. Before I took over as her caregiver she was subsisting on junk food from the apartment complex snack machines. That certainly didn't help. Just by changing her diet to good, basic, common foods -- no special "diet" plans -- she lost weight and was physically healthier for most of that decade.

But none of the many vitamins, minerals, popular voodoo potions and supplements helped relieve her dementia. The only thing we didn't try was CBD, mostly because I hadn't even heard of it before 2018. By then it was too late for anything to help.

And around 2012 her neurologist put her on meds designed to delay the dementia -- memantine, donepezil, gabapentin, others. But they also warned that those meds would help only for a year or so. The meds helped well enough that she could live at home until late 2017 but by 2018 she needed 24/7 care in a specialized facility.

There certainly are meds, prescription and OTC, that can dramatically worsen cognitive functions. In my mom's case the worst culprits were anti-cholinergics. Those are too common in OTC meds, and mom would occasionally get careless about buying stuff from the dollar store or drug store for allergies and sniffles. The original mixture of NyQuil and generic syrups to relieve cold symptoms and help with sleep contained three or more anti-cholinergics: typically, chlorpheneramine, an obsolete antihistamine that should have been off the market years ago; diphenhydramine (ditto, other than for severe allergic reactions); and doxylamine succinate. A single dose made mom hallucinate for almost 48 hours.

Unfortunately one of her neurologists ignored my cautions about her reactions and prescribed a strong anticholinergic intended for Parkinson's, which she didn't have. Again, she ended up in the ER with hallucinations, this time lasting for days. We switched neurologists immediately.

Perhaps the best thing we can do to protect our cognitive function is to be fully informed about what we're taking and make sure we and our medical providers are on the same page.
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Old 11-09-19, 02:31 AM
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Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
I don't care what your results are. You're not going to convince me that the list of crap which you posted has any beneficial effect on the mind.
That's not keeping an open mind. After all, I can recall a time not too long ago when the entire medical community said that there was absolutely no medical benefit to cannabis.
Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
Having a strong sense of purpose, having goals in life is the best stimulant for the mind. You don't need supplements which don't work.
Its good that you have that mindset, but in the real world people go through physical and emotion stress that make what might seem simple in good times, a lot more complicated than how you present it here.
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Old 11-09-19, 10:50 AM
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I don't remember a time when the entire medical community thought marijuana had zero benefit. I remember them acknowledging that there were anecdotal accounts of it helping people, and being frustrated that research into it was strictly forbidden.

On the other hand, an open mind is good. I think most of us have one. But being too credulous isn't good. I've worked with a lot of people who smoke cannabis, it's pretty common in software development. None of them are great at remembering things.

Anecdotes are useful especially when there's zero data. But know they're limited in what they can tell you.

Don't believe a research study. Wait for ten studies.
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Old 11-09-19, 12:53 PM
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One of the best nootropics is physical activity. Getting oxygenated blood circulating, along with brain chemicals that reward exertion, help my chronic pain and occasional morning fogginess better than any meds or supplements.

When I was young and healthy, that's all I needed.

But with aging, injury and illness, we sometimes need a little help just getting started before we can engage in that rewarding physical activity. Sometimes that's a necessary prescription med (other than controlled substances). Sometimes it's a common OTC med like an antihistamine or decongestant to clear the sinuses and ears so we aren't dizzy and discombobulated while exercising. Sometimes it's a prescription of OTC pain med to tamp down the discomfort enough to exercise without worsening pain.

The human body is a quirky mess of complex interactions that can conspire to reward or punish normal physical activities. Before this past week I didn't know that researchers had extensively delved into ... itching. And why scratching sometimes relieves itching and sometimes makes it worse. Apparently scratching triggers a mild pain response that mask itching and affects the serotonin balance. And as with all brain chemicals, some folks who may be vulnerable to substance abuse may overuse a physical sensation -- such as scratching an itch -- to trigger those brain chemicals. We're usually unaware of these on any conscious level. But it's an example of how complex our bodies are and how dependent our brains are on physical health.
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Old 11-09-19, 01:33 PM
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Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
Some of the greatest minds in this world such as inventors and scientists and artists who made great contributions to society never used any of that crap which you listed. Cognitive function and smartness is a genetic gift and there is no supplement out there that actually works to improve it.
Cocaine and laudanum were very popular with some of our great artists. But CBD, nope. Ginkgo Biloba, nope. Nicotine: Joni Mitchell for one. Caffeine demonstrably improves cognitive function, but it's so universal that it was probably used by all those folks about whom you're thinking.

And OTOH, cognitive function and "smartness" can definitely be trained.
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Old 11-09-19, 01:39 PM
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Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
Having a strong sense of purpose, having goals in life is the best stimulant for the mind. You don't need supplements which don't work.
That's true as far as it goes. Supplements which don't work are useless, like you say. OTOH, supplements which do work are another story. And there are supplements which do work, a great long list of them. Pharmacology has come a long way since we used to chew willow bark.
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Old 11-09-19, 09:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
Cocaine and laudanum were very popular with some of our great artists. But CBD, nope. Ginkgo Biloba, nope. Nicotine: Joni Mitchell for one. Caffeine demonstrably improves cognitive function, but it's so universal that it was probably used by all those folks about whom you're thinking.

And OTOH, cognitive function and "smartness" can definitely be trained.
I haven't yet tried CBD (its expensive, and I have quite a few prescription drugs that do absolutely nothing for my pain or mood), but there's enough data and testimonials to show that it does have positive effects for many.

Still, there's no way to know if it will work on my condition unless I try it first. I'm just hoping to find the best investment for my limited funds. I don't really need a clinical trial, especially since I know those can be manipulated to show whatever result its supporters want. Just like the tobacco industry and cigarettes.
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Old 11-09-19, 11:31 PM
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Originally Posted by KraneXL View Post
I haven't yet tried CBD (its expensive, and I have quite a few prescription drugs that do absolutely nothing for my pain or mood), but there's enough data and testimonials to show that it does have positive effects for many.

Still, there's no way to know if it will work on my condition unless I try it first. I'm just hoping to find the best investment for my limited funds. I don't really need a clinical trial, especially since I know those can be manipulated to show whatever result its supporters want. Just like the tobacco industry and cigarettes.
If I may ask, what's your issue? Ignore if you want. Re trials: self-experimentation is perfectly valid, especially since placebo effect is sometimes demonstrably stronger than clinical effect. AFAIK, there are no completed clinical trials in humans.
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Old 11-10-19, 12:13 AM
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Prednisolone is a miracle drug for pain. You can't take it very long though. 🤕
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Old 11-10-19, 12:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
If I may ask, what's your issue? Ignore if you want. Re trials: self-experimentation is perfectly valid, especially since placebo effect is sometimes demonstrably stronger than clinical effect. AFAIK, there are no completed clinical trials in humans.
Simple, we sometimes put too much emphasis on clinical trials. I'm not implying that we should ignore them, only that we should investigate more to determine if it was a neutral study, and if anybody stands to gain from the results. Too many trials examine the wrong people or have an agenda to show only one side.

For example, one trial reveals that milk is bad for you. While another makes the claim that it is the perfect food. Not surprising that the positive results were funded by the dairy industry, which doesn't inherently make it false. But it does make it suspect.

Anyway, my hopes with this thread is to get more personal experience with some of the newer substance as opposed to solely results of the trials -- which don't always examine the right people or reveal the complete results.

I knew about the merits of coffee long before I ever read any clinical data on it. The trials just helped me understand exactly what was going on in the body, and how it works. Coffee is just one plant that we all know about and would agree works. Simply stated, it can't be the only one on earth with those qualities.
Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
Prednisolone is a miracle drug for pain. You can't take it very long though. 🤕
Do you have suggested link?

Is it prescription drug or an OTC? Doctors won't condone or tell you about anything that's not pharmaceutical. I have a cabinet full of all the pills and potion junk that only made me feel worse.

Most of his pain relievers only take away your ability to think clearly and make you brain dead. Not a condition you'd want to leave your house in.
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Old 11-10-19, 04:58 AM
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Originally Posted by KraneXL View Post
I haven't yet tried CBD (its expensive, and I have quite a few prescription drugs that do absolutely nothing for my pain or mood), but there's enough data and testimonials to show that it does have positive effects for many.

Still, there's no way to know if it will work on my condition unless I try it first. I'm just hoping to find the best investment for my limited funds. I don't really need a clinical trial, especially since I know those can be manipulated to show whatever result its supporters want. Just like the tobacco industry and cigarettes.
Do you have something specific you're trying to achieve?
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Old 11-10-19, 07:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Machka View Post
Do you have something specific you're trying to achieve?
Relief from pain...without the mental fog and loss of clarity and focus that come with it.

This is likely something only someone who is experiencing or has experienced chronic pain can relate to. But most medications powerful enough to suppress the pain, will also suppress your higher brain function.

The feeling for me is as if you're thinking in slow motion. Not a very comfortable experience I assure you. One reason why I refer to them as my ******** pills. My doctor was not amused.
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Old 11-10-19, 09:33 AM
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Originally Posted by KraneXL View Post
Simple, we sometimes put too much emphasis on clinical trials. I'm not implying that we should ignore them, only that we should investigate more to determine if it was a neutral study, and if anybody stands to gain from the results. Too many trials examine the wrong people or have an agenda to show only one side.

For example, one trial reveals that milk is bad for you. While another makes the claim that it is the perfect food. Not surprising that the positive results were funded by the dairy industry, which doesn't inherently make it false. But it does make it suspect.

Anyway, my hopes with this thread is to get more personal experience with some of the newer substance as opposed to solely results of the trials -- which don't always examine the right people or reveal the complete results.

I knew about the merits of coffee long before I ever read any clinical data on it. The trials just helped me understand exactly what was going on in the body, and how it works. Coffee is just one plant that we all know about and would agree works. Simply stated, it can't be the only one on earth with those qualities.Do you have suggested link?

Is it prescription drug or an OTC? Doctors won't condone or tell you about anything that's not pharmaceutical. I have a cabinet full of all the pills and potion junk that only made me feel worse.

Most of his pain relievers only take away your ability to think clearly and make you brain dead. Not a condition you'd want to leave your house in.
Prednisolone is a corticosteroid. You need a script. It's more effective for pain than IV morphine, I've had both within the last few months. It works by turning inflammation off. It doesn't make you foggy, the side effects are being more hungry and obsessively cleaning you house. It should be easy to get from your doctor if you're in pain, it's not an opiod, it's not recreational, it's not addictive.

But you can't take too much or for too long, or you'll develop Cushing's syndrome until months after you stop taking it. Your doctor will make sure you stay on the safe side.
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Old 11-10-19, 10:09 AM
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I meant why are you in pain? What do the doctors give for a reason for the pain? What sort of pain where? There really aren't any pain relievers which are not known to medical science. That said, not all pain needs a "pain reliever." Sometimes it needs something physical or something mental. And further, sometimes the solution to pain is to not put off what the docs are recommending, rather to do it immediately.

Been there, done that with the prednisone. It's deadly, especially because it's so wonderful. As my doctor said, "At this dosage, my bone cancer patients would feel great." Screws up your hormones, plus bone loss. Great, huh? Docs don't just hand it out.
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Old 11-10-19, 09:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
I meant why are you in pain?
Its a long story involving one major injury and multiple smaller ones. But suffice it to say that many doctors have been unable to find a long-term solution up to this point. I'm a living, breathing example that medical science can't solve every malady and still has a long way to go.
What do the doctors give for a reason for the pain? What sort of pain where? There really aren't any pain relievers which are not known to medical science. That said, not all pain needs a "pain reliever." Sometimes it needs something physical or something mental. And further, sometimes the solution to pain is to not put off what the docs are recommending, rather to do it immediately.
Not in my case. I've given them a chance. In fact, multiple chances. So far, my doctors recommendations have bee sadly, wanting.

Been there, done that with the prednisone. It's deadly, especially because it's so wonderful. As my doctor said, "At this dosage, my bone cancer patients would feel great." Screws up your hormones, plus bone loss. Great, huh? Docs don't just hand it out.
And yet they have no compunctions giving out brain scrabbling medication. Its all about my quality of life (chronic pain leaves you depressed), which is rapidly diminishing, and moving me toward the next level of desperation.
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Old 11-10-19, 09:27 PM
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I would talk to your doctor about trying a course of pred and see how it affects you. Everything CFBoy says is true, but it takes doing them long term to suffer negative effects. If they work, even if it's only short term, it's really nice to have a break from constant pain. I finished my second course yesterday, they've been a godsend for me.

Either way, I hope you find something that works for you. Chronic pain absolutely leaves anyone depressed. 🤕

I asked a friend about CBD, he says if you do it, buy it from a marijuana store not a drug store. He says you'll get a better product at better prices. He says if you go to a good store, somebody there will be able to recommend the right one for your circumstances.
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