The only FDA-approved uses of hydergine are senility and cerehrovascular insufficiency, which is caused by poor blood circulation to the brain. Hydergine’s effectiveness in reducing symptoms of senility have been well-established. Hydergine increases the oxygen supply in the brain, which keeps production of free radicals in check. When oxygen is in short supply because of smoking, cerebral insufficiency, strokes, or heart attacks, free radicals are rapidly produced, resulting in brain-cell damage.
Dr. Dean: Not really! There are several relatively new drugs that may offer potential benefit for Alzheimer’s patients that are now available in the U.S. One is Radazyne® (U.S.), Reminyl® (Europe). Its generic name is galantamine, an extract of the snowdrop herb, which acts as a reversible acetylcholinesterase inhibitor. Another anti-Alzheimer drug is Namenda® (U.S.), Ebixa®(Europe) or memantine, an NMDA receptor blocker). However, I’m not convinced that these newer, relatively expensive drugs have any demonstrable advantages over older, less-expensive alternatives. Also, highly popular and very effective alertness-promoting drugs such as adrafinil, modafinil (Provigil®), and the most recent entry in this class, armodafinil (Nuvigil®) were not available when the books came out.
For many users, nootropics are not just a productivity tool; they’re part of a holistic journey toward perfection of the mind, body, and soul. According to Matzner, Nootroo confers its greatest benefits as part of a broader “protocol” that includes meditation, exercise, and eating “clean.” He consumes an extremely high-fat, low-carb, ketogenic diet; meditates; and tracks his sleep. Because he takes more than 40 daily supplements, he has a naturopath check his blood regularly.
Research shows significant improvements in memory and mental performance. Piracetam has a synergistic effect, such as helping the individual remember things better, when taken with DMAE, centrophenoxine, choline, Deaner, lecithin, or hydergine. Reports show it works three to four times better when acetylcholine-enhancing nutrients or drugs are used. Studies suggest that when taken in combination, Piracetam and choline are much more effective both in improving memory and in preventing the mental decline that comes with aging than when either substance is used by itself.
Jump up ^ Correll, Christoph U.; Rubio, Jose M.; Inczedy-Farkas, Gabriella; Birnbaum, Michael L.; Kane, John M.; Leucht, Stefan (1 June 2017). “Efficacy of 42 Pharmacologic Cotreatment Strategies Added to Antipsychotic Monotherapy in Schizophrenia”. JAMA Psychiatry. American Medical Association (AMA). 74 (7). Figure 4. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2017.0624. PMID 28514486.
What’s more, prescription “smart drugs” work by squeezing the adrenals to release more adrenaline. Therefore, over time they will exhaust the adrenal glands, resulting in higher and higher dosages of the drugs needing to be taken in order to achieve the same level of cognitive (and metabolic) stimulation. That’s the very definition of addiction.
The seizure, worth £200,000, illustrates the increasing internet trade in cognitive enhancement drugs and suggests people who want to stay focused and sharp are moving on from black coffee and legally available caffeine tablets.
Smart drugs available without a prescription are generally very safe. In high doses one may experience nuisance side effects of brain overstimulation: jitteriness, euphoria, depression, insomnia, vivid dreams and other wired effects but generally no life threatening ails.
Nicotine – A meta-analysis of 41 double-blind, placebo-controlled studies concluded that nicotine or smoking had significant positive effects on aspects of fine motor abilities, alerting and orienting attention, and episodic and working memory. A 2015 review noted that stimulation of the α4β2 nicotinic receptor is responsible for certain improvements in attentional performance; among the nicotinic receptor subtypes, nicotine has the highest binding affinity at the α4β2 receptor (ki=1 nM), which is also the biological target that mediates nicotine’s addictive properties.
Adaptogens are plant-derived chemicals whose activity helps the body maintain or regain homeostasis (equilibrium between the body’s metabolic processes). Almost without exception, adaptogens are available over-the-counter as dietary supplements, not controlled drugs. Well-known adaptogens include Ginseng, Kava Kava, Passion Flower, St. Johns Wort, and Gotu Kola. Many of these traditional remedies border on being “folk wisdom,” and have been in use for hundreds or thousands of years, and are used to treat everything from anxiety and mild depression to low libido. While these smart drugs work in a many different ways (their commonality is their resultant function within the body, not their chemical makeup), it can generally be said that the cognitive boost users receive is mostly a result of fixing an imbalance in people with poor diets, body toxicity, or other metabolic problems, rather than directly promoting the growth of new brain cells or neural connections.