You might have come across the term nootropics. In case you haven’t, we will fill you in on what it means.

Nootropic – also known as smart drugs – is a term that’s used to describe supplements purported to increase focus, cognition, well-being, and alertness. They are aimed to boost memory, speed the thought process, as well as make one productive. A number of pills in this category exist for medical use.
Scientist have for a long time been studying nootropics for neuroscience research. In their research, some have looked at the drugs’ impact on cognitive abilities. And while nootropics have several benefits to the human brain, the most effective ones are never intended for use without a prescription. They are usually prescribed to people with mental or neurological disorders.

Those drugs in the market are not licensed for purposes other than these thus alternative uses are considered unethical and possibly harmful.

Research on Nootropics

The use of nootropics is a subject that has doctors and medical researchers debating on whether it actually works. The concerns raised mainly stem from the potential adverse effects when it comes to the long-term use of these supplements. Moreover, most medical practitioners are also torn on matters ethics such as using the cognitive enhancers to have an advantage in sports, everyday work or school.
However, even with the debate, entrepreneurs haven’t been stopped from buying into the magic pills business. It’s estimated that in 2015 alone, the nootropics business brought in more than 1 billion dollars with websites selling nootropics supplements filled with people in search of pills to enhance their mental performance.

So, how does nootropics work?

• They increase the brain’s metabolism
• Increased cerebral circulation
• Protects the brain from chemical and physical damage

As with many substances that get ingested, there’s bound to be a side effect. Nootropics aren’t an exception either. Below are some of the effects:

• Increase in mental energy
• Increase in one’s alertness
• Decreased depression
• Enhanced memory
• A boost in learning ability

Continued Research on Nootropics

Cognitive enhancements didn’t arise yesterday. It has been an age-old thing. However, with increased usage from people, it’s important to develop new enhancers that are safe, specific and effective due to its huge demand.
Most of the nootropics that are available in the market are manufactured for certain medical conditions and are FDA approved with others being under review. Although some nootropics have gone all the way to the clinical trial, others have been withdrawn or still await trial with each having various effects that are specific to certain diseases.
Although nootropics have made certain advancements, their development is mainly hindered by research, accuracy and regulatory challenges. Pinpointing the exact definition of cognitive enhancements is hard. Getting the drugs from the lab to the FDA for approval is difficult, long and expensive. Besides, ethical issues also pose as a drawback on whether they should be allowed or not.


So far, the research that’s available shows that nootropics have various benefits. There’s also some demonstrable harm associated with the non-prescribed use of these drugs. However, there is little that’s known about their long-term use as well the effects in individuals who have no cognitive impairment. Researchers are still trying to figure out what makes these drugs function as they do and reach a consensus on their use for cognitive enhancement. These drugs are therefore not meant for willful, unwarranted consumption.