Talk:Nootropic/Archive 1

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Archive 1 Archive 2 Archive 3

Suggested guidelines for formatting, content, and organization

We need to list drugs by mechanism. There should be at least a few paragraphs on the supposed means by which each mechanism improves cognition.

SSRI; Hyperforin, Fluoxetine

Dopamine precursor; Tyrosine, L-dopa

Dopamine agonist; Dextro-Amphetamine, Meth-Amphetamine, Premoline

Dopamine reuptake inhibitor; Methylphenidate (Ritalin), Phenmetrazine.

Norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor; Atomoxetin, Levo-Amphetamine

Noradrenaline agonist; Ephedrine

Adrenergic receptor a2 agonist; Guanfacine

Drugs which decrease cAMP; Guanfacine

Cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) phosphodiesterase inhibitors; 1,3,7-trimethylxanthine (Caffeine), Theobromine

Vasodilators; Arginine


Acetylcholine precursors: Choline

Ampakines/AMPA receptor agonists; Phenylpiracetam


It is not enough to claim that a substance is nootropic; if possible a biological mechanism for performance enhancement should be listed, where available. Mechanisms for choline, piracetam, methylphenidate, guanfacine and dextro-amphetamine are well known and should be mentioned. Also some drugs are not monotonously nootropic; although caffeine is a adenosine receptor antagonist and hence improves attentional processes, it also impairs certain aspects of cognition via its action as a cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) phosphodiesterase inhibitor. Decreased cAMP levels hae been implicated in improvement of learning and attentional processes in guanfacine trials. Although increased cAMP levels are experienced as "stimulatory" they have also been implicated in impairment on some memory and learning tasks.

Also, It is not enough to say that "Dopamine reuptake inhibitors such as methylphenidate increase basal dopamine levels by blocking the reuptake of dopamine". We should also strive towards a mechanism based description of the effect of the drug's biological mechanism on cognition.

Drug class -> List of drugs in class

Drug class -> Description of mechanism of drug class -> Effect of mechanism on cognition and memory.

Drug class -> Drug Class Instances -> Studies on cognitive or memory effects of drug class instances

Although many drugs belong in multiple categories the majority of these drugs have only one or two dominant mechanisms of actions. Each of these drugs princibly influences a biological mechanism through which their effects are experienced. These mechanisms present a natural organization for this article.

A list of drugs in each category and then elaboration on their mechanism of effect would be more elegant than the currently indiscriminate list. As most of these drug categories (etc. dopamine agonists) already have their own pages, it would be good if we could include information on studies into their possible performance enhancing effects/mechanisms on the respective drug category pages, as well as in the nootropics article. If brevity becomes a concern, this organization would allow movement of elaboration on studies onto the drug category pages.

Also, we need more peer reviewed journal references and a more extensive list of specific effects for each of these drugs if this article is to be definitive.

Agalmic (talk) 10:50, 25 May 2008 (UTC)


A google search for "FDA nootropics" reveals a hundred permutations of the same two thoughts: 1. The FDA has approved no nootropic substances and 2. The FDA and CDER are regulatory agencies regulating the use of drugs for treatment and prevention of diseases and disorders, thus leaving nootropics stranded outside FDA approval as drugs designed without disease. For example, the [drugs simulating the SIRT1 effects calorie restriction diets have to be marketed as cholesterol drugs], and drugs like Melanotan for people with skin disorders, not as a tanning replacement (also medically useful!). I believe some mention of this should be made. --Rektide 21:10, 13 October 2007 (UTC)


The link to the "Society for the Advancement of Cosmetic Pharmacotherapy" at the end is nonsense. The articles are very old there and not worthful - either under objective nor subjective perspective. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:49, 11 October 2007 (UTC)


The article on nootropics is deeply flawed. At the very least, it must acknowledge the deep and widespread criticism and often even disdain that scientists and doctors frequently level against the use of medications to make healthy people smarter. There are ethical as well as medical implications which are also ignored here.

I suggest you go ahead and update the article as you see fit. Daniel.Cardenas 00:41, 29 November 2006 (UTC)
Really? I suggest you update it as he sees fit (talk) 17:25, 4 June 2008 (UTC)

Where is the evidence that any of these drugs have any effect whatsoever? This page and the pages of the drugs themselves take for granted that there are actually nootropics that work.-- 01:59, 24 August 2005 (UTC)

It does seem that there are a ton of pretty bogus things listed here, if only for the purpose of showing what is being touted as a "nootropic drug". There are some which most certainly enhance certain aspects of cognition- caffeine and dextroamphetamine definitely improve alertness- there are a number of military studies showing that pilots' performance can be returned to normal after 64 hours of sleep deprivation with dextroamphetamine, probably not the healthiest thing here, but it shows dex is effective.

How about putting these into a grid, drugs on the rows, claimed effects ("memory" "attention") on the columns. In each cell, we'd list the type of evidence supporting or questioning such claims.


Caffeine +Normal human[1][2][3]

                 +Alzheimers [1]
                 +Sleep deprived [1][2]
                 +Animal [1]

Something like that? Maybe it belongs on another page, but separating what manufacturer's tout the product as doing and studies backing it's use in normal, healthy, humans is important. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Tymothy (talkcontribs) 04:11, 14 May 2007 (UTC).

There doesnt seem to be a critical approach taken here at all. Ceran 15:13, 24 April 2006 (UTC)

Granted, "Smart Drug" may be somewhat of a misnomer, if not outright marketing ploy. The hype can lead many to falsely believe these drugs will magically turn you into Einstein, and when the drugs don't meet these unrealistic expectations, they're disgarded as snakeoil. However, a simple google search for "nootropic double-blind study" finds many clinical trials that show these drugs do have modest effects beyond mere placebo. We might consider referencing more links to these, and less to sites selling these drugs.

The only results for "nootropic double-blind study" that I found involved treatments for disorders, or claims on fringe websites.

It is a little bit unfortunate, that nootropics are against brain.demage and also they are brain.boosters. Maybe it would be good, to make differences in such medicine, which are fitting for boosters, and such by disease of brain. --Fackel 21:22, 30 May 2006 (UTC)

Agreed. This article almost needs another disclaimer at the top. I know which one I'm talking about but can;t find it at th moment. -- ×××jijin+machina | Chat Me!××× -- 16:32, 17 June 2006 (UTC)

The tone throughout this article appears to be heavily biased in favor of nootropic use, such as that seen in the introduction:

With a few notable exceptions, nootropics have very low or no toxicity, making overdose unlikely. Most have few or no side effects, and many nootropics potentiate each other.

I believe this is quite a strong claim that demands the backing of equally strong evidence, which this article is clearly lacking. Unreferenced and potentially dangerous claims can be found throughout the article as well. For example:

Keeping the brain's neurotransmitters at high levels improves concentration, mental focus, calculation ability, memory encoding, recall, creativity, mood, and cures and prevents most depressions.

As mentioned above by others, none of the information presented as fact here has been accompanied by any references. All the entries in the external links and books section fail to qualify as credible primary source either. As per WP:REF, the entire article should probably be transferred to the talk pages for review if not deleted outright. Due the sheer volume of information contained in the article however, I will instead move the {{Primarysources}} tag back to the article for now, so that readers can at least be warned and perhaps assist in locating proper references and pruning the extraneous sections (e.g. related pages). 15:51, 30 August 2006 (UTC)

Please feel free to rearrange the following as necessary:

Here are two primary sources that are reviews of other primary sources that discuss nootropics. The first is "Design and Study of Piracetam-like Nootropics, Controversial Members of the Problematic Class of Cognition-Enhancing Drugs" from Current Pharmaceutical Design, 2002, 8, 125-138 by Gualtieri, Manetti, Romanelli, and Ghelardini. This article, 15 pages in length, cites 122 other sources.

From the Abstract of Gualtieri et. al. "Cognition enhancers are drugs able to facilitate attentional abilities and acquisition, storage, and retrieval of information, and to attenuate the impairment of cognitive functions associated with head traumas, stroke, and age-related pathologies. ... Among other classes of drugs, piracetam-like cognition enhancers (nootropics) have never reached general acceptance, in spite of their excellent tolerability and safety. ... Recent developments which hopefully will lead to a revival of the class are reviewed."

The abstract shows that piracetam use is extremely safe, and favorable. It also says that members of it's cohort (primaracetam, aniracetam, etc) are safe.

The second is "Brain-Specific" Nutrients: A Memory Cure? American Psychological Society Vol. 3 No. 1. May 2002 by McDaniel, Maier, and Einstein. This article, 27 pages in length, cites over 50.

From the Abstract of McDaniel et. al. "Summary - We review the experimental evaluations of several widely marketed nonprescription compounds claimed to be memory enhancers and treatments for age-related memory decline. We generally limit our review to double-blind placebo-controlled studies. The compounds examined are phosphatidylserine (PS), phosphatidylcholine (PC), citicoline, piracetam, vinpocetine, acetyl-L-carnitine (ALC, and antioxidants (particularly vitamin E)."

"In animals, PS has been shown to attenuate many neuronal effects of aging, and to restore normal memory on a variety of tasks. Preliminary findings with humans, though, are limited. For older adults with probable Alzheimr's disease, a single study failed to demonstrate positive effects of PS on memory performance. For older adults with moderate cognitive impairment, PS has produced consistently modest increases in recall of word lists. Postive effects have not been as consistently reported for other memory tests. There is one report of consistent benefits across a number of memory tests for a subset of normal adults who performed more poorly than their peers at baseline."

"The choline compounds PC and citicoline are thought to promote synthesis and transmission of neurotransmitters important to memory...Research on citicoline is practically nonexistent, but one study reported a robust improvement in story recall for a small sample of normally aging older adults who scored lower than their peers in baseline testing."

"Animal studies suggest that piracetam may improve neuronal efficiency, facilitate activity in neurotransmitter systems, and combat the age-related decrease in receptors on the neuronal membrane. However, for patients with probable Alzheimer's disease , as well as for adults with age-associated memory impairment, there is no clear-cut support for a mnemonic benefit of piracetam."

"Vinpocetine increases blood circulation and metabolism in the brain. Animal studies have shown that vinpocetine can reduce the loss of neurons due to decreased blood flow. In three studies of older adults with memory problems associated with poor brain circulation or dementia-related disease, vinpocetine produced significantly more improvement than a placebo in performance on global cognitive tests reflecting attention, concentration, and memory. Effects on episodic memory per se have been tested minimally, if at all."

"ALC participates in cellular energy production, a process especially important in neurons, and in removal of toxic accumulation of fatty acids. Animal studies show that ALC reverses the age-related decline in the number of neuron membrane receptors. Studies of patients with probable Alzheimer's disease have reported nominal advantages over a range of memory tests for ALC-treated patients relative to placebo groups. Significant differences have been reported rarely, however. Whether ALC would have mnemonic benefits for aging adults without brain disease is untested as far as we know."

"Antioxidants help neutralize tissue-damaging free radicals, which become more prevalent as organisms age. ...studies have found that vitamin E does not significantly slow down memory decline for Alzheimer's patients and does not produce significant memory benefits among early Parkinson's patients."

"In sum, for most of the "brain-specific" nutrients we review, some mildly suggestive effects have been found in preliminary controlled studies using standard psychometric memory assessments or more general tests designed to reveal cognitive impairment. We suggest that future evaluations of the possible memory benefits of these supplements might fruitfully focus on memory processes rather than on memory tests per se."

To summarize the summary, nootropics are somewhat effective in various segments of the human population. More studies need to be conducted to ascertain exactly how effective they are, in what combinations they can or should be taken, and what part of the population would benefit most by these supplements.

––––Did the author intend to say that reduced mental performance can include increased response times? ..."Replenishing and increasing neurotransmitters

Thinking is a biologically demanding task....Depletion of neurotransmitters generally results in reduced mental performance, which may include difficulty concentrating....decreased response times...." did the author intend to say that reduced mental performance can include increased response times? Seems the author erred...wanted to say it takes longer to respond, hence increased response times or maybe decreased number of quick responses...? What do you think? 03:19, 31 July 2007 (UTC)blg

Ginkgo biloba

"Ginkgo biloba - increases blood flow to the extremities including the brain" - Since when is the brain part of the extremities?

I can't disagree. Too many psychonauts here. JFW | T@lk 23:56, 25 December 2005 (UTC)
The point is that the of flow blood is increased in both the brain AND the extremities. Its ability to do so is fairly established in the scientific literature. See, e.g., Firewall62 08:09, 12 June 2006 (UTC)


Taurine is, I believe, one of the first substances classified as Nootropic.

Where did you get this information from?? I've never even heard Taurine referenced as a nootropic at all, let alone as the first substance classified as such. The article Brain Food: Piracetam I contains this passage:

In 1971, the year that piracetam first reached clinical practice (in France), C.E. Guirgea coined the term "nootropic" after Greek noos (mind) and tropos (turn towards) to describe the activity of piracetam and related compounds.

--Brainsik 08:49, 29 Apr 2005 (UTC)


I am going to add sulbutiamine (Arcalion) to the list of nootropics. It is a highly appropriate addition to the list, as a quick Google search will demonstrate to those who question its placement. I will also probably create an independent entry for it in the near future, and I will cite studies that have involved it. Firewall62 23:13, 8 May 2006 (UTC)

I would greatly appreciate that. There are not enough verfied claims and mechanism based descriptions on this article yet. BTW: I have sulbutiamine and its effects seem similar to long term B-1 supplementation. Agalmic (talk) 00:16, 21 June 2008 (UTC)


Not one of the "nootropics" listed on this page has a cited reference. This should not be the case for an article describing the potential effects on the brain from food and drugs, particularly in a topic such as this which is extremely likely to attract gurus of various types claiming that their newly discovered herb has "breakthrough" properties.

References in this case must be much more than footnotes leading to the book they were read in. For instance, if something was copied from Brain Boosters. Foods And Drugs That Make You Smarter, the correct reference should be a peer-reviewed study, not the book. If the book is worth its salt, it will have the appropriate peer-reviewed study in the endnotes, making this job much easier. I know that a lot of these have valid references, and all it takes if the originals can't be found is a simple Google Scholar search or similar.

Going down the list of nootropics and picking things out at random:

  • The Acetylcholine precursors section: From what I can tell looking at the journals, almost everything here has been tested only as nootropics for patients with Alzheimer’s disease or other neurological dementia. Calling them "general nootropics" if they haven't been found to be so is incorrect, and likewise for the blanket term "demonstrated to have nootropic effects." (Not that I'm saying I know they haven't been found to be general nootropics, just that I haven't seen the articles). If they're only for patients with dementia, it should be made clear.
  • Likewise, the drugs in the domanine are mainly used (as would be expected) for treating Parkinsonian patients. A quick search didn't find them being used for nootropic effects in healthy patients.
  • The antidepressant effects of many of these drugs is doubtful. See for instance [1] for L-Dopa. Tyrosine in particular seems to be backwards: Tyrosine hydroxylase is a chemical found in depressed brains. See e.g. articles found in [2], [3].
  • Anti-depressants section: While a number of these substances have been shown to have antidepressant qualities, do any of them show nootropic qualities? Antidepressants don't fall under your definition at the top of substances that "boost human cognitive abilities." Also, looking for studies on Melissa Officinalis as an antidepressant, I could hardly find any that weren't published by Alternative & Complimentary Therapies (none of whose articles appear to be cited in anything but other articles in the same journal). One study I found [4] did not find any antidepressant effects.
  • Nerve growth section: Again, a random search for these seemed to show that they are used entirely in the treatment of Alzheimer's and similar dementias, which is fine but should be stated if it's the case.
  • I couldn't find any article saying that Vitamin B12 affects the dreaming experience

I think that a lot of this stuff could quite easily be correctly referenced, hopefully with something saying what was found in the studies (for instance, many of these substances seem to have only been tested on rats, or may have conflicting results). Some of them look like substances promoted in unscientific health books. Without finding references for all the good ones, and removing all the ones without adequate research, there isn't much point in this otherwise-interesting article. — Asbestos | Talk (RFC) 19:58, 6 June 2006 (UTC)


I think is a matter of fact thats LSD is an Nootropic LSD can make dreams colors increased and bring very high brain activity. LSD elevated blood sugar levels in the brain. LSD binds to most serotonin receptor subtypes except for 5-HT3 and 5-HT4. LSD affects an enormous number of receptors, including all dopamine receptor subtypes, all adrenoreceptor subtypes as well as many others.

See the LSD Page vor more informations. Qaridarium 23:14, 12 June 2006 (UTC)

From my perspective, that is absolutely absurd, and I must admit that I'm generally a proponant of nootropic theory. Your list is irrelevant. Since when does the ability of a substance to affect dream-states and increase sugar levels in the brain, e.g., constitute proper justification for the attribution of nootropic properties? It would seem to me that nootropics, since they are generally associated with the improvement of cognitive function, should be conducive to academic activity. Merriam-Webster's Medical Dictionary, e.g., points out that the word nootropic implies the faciliation of learning. Since when does LSD meaningfully facilitate learning? It should probably be removed. Firewall62 08:07, 12 June 2006 (UTC)
Reversal learning enhanced by lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD)--AndreasBWagner (talk) 23:57, 21 February 2008 (UTC)
I read a lot books about LSD and in all off them there is the same message LSD increases the IQ.
look on this example:
LSD is considered as immediately and well effective headache means (among other things also with thrusts of the cluster headache in such a way specified).
You can see if you have headache and you need Painkillers like Aspirin ASS to learn and make productive thinks so you can get LSD in a tiny dose to get the Serotonin and dopamine level hight and turn the headache off.
The dose makes the poison! Qaridarium 23:12, 12 June 2006 (UTC)
True, it's all about dose, but therein lies the problem. At extremely miniscule doses the effects of LSD are almost identical to those of Hydergine (both drugs are derived from ergot), but Hydergine doesn't make you go out of your mind at any dose, while it doesn't take much LSD to put you "over the curve" and "out of it" (subject to delusions and hallucinations). The stuff is measured in micrograms, not miligrams, but micrograms! That, coupled with the difficulty of those high on LSD to stay on task, its usefulness as a nootropic is questionable. On the one hand, creativity is bolstered, allowing one to see the world in new and interesting ways, even after it wears off. On the other hand, the dysfunctionality caused during the high, and the fact that LSD can cause flashbacks (unscheduled trips), makes it a liability. And to describe the neurological metabolism of the drug without explaining its corresponding effects on behavior (as has been done in this article) may lead the reader to draw the wrong conclusions, especially if he or she has no prior knowledge of LSD - it's wreckless reporting. LSD is a dangerous substance ("it may temporarily impair the ability to make sensible judgments and understand common dangers, thus making the user susceptible to accidents and personal injury"), and that's why it's banned. It may have some useful psychotropic applications as a psychedelic drug, but it really doesn't belong in the list with the nootropics, which are intended to enhance cognitive function without deleterious side effects. This article reads With a few notable exceptions, nootropics have very low or no toxicity, making overdose unlikely. That isn't the case with pschedelics, and especially not with LSD, which is one of the most potent psychoactive drugs there is. Psychedelics may have nootropic effects, but these are overshadowed their psychedelic nature; they are already in a class of their own, and there they should remain. I think LSD should be relegated to the See also section. --Transhumanist 10:32, 17 June 2006 (UTC)
Realy you dont unterstand the Fakt "The dose makes the poison!". Huperzine A is on the nootropic list to lock at this: in english : "Lycopodiumalkaloide are toxic and can be able to lead with pasture animals, to death. In purer form Huperzin is very poisonous with the inhalation and when swallowing, in addition, during contact with the skin. Acetylcholinesterasehemmer are dangerous!". additionally from the physical one regards, its a fakt that LSD is save in use in tiny dose and yes micrograms thats sure right. With a few notable exceptions, nootropics have very low or no toxicity, making overdose unlikely that is not a Fix argument for the definition of notropics. becouse its only a overview and superficially information.Qaridarium 23:14, 17 June 2006 (UTC)
The fact that LSD is a "poison" at any dose makes it ineligible as a nootropic, as one of the key characteristics of nootropics is the absence of side-effects that interfere with the purpose of taking the substance in the first place. The deleterious effects of LSD render it ineligible for serious consideration, reflected by the fact that it is not marketed as a nootropic. What good is enhancing your intelligence if you think you are being chased by goblins?! Even though a large proportion of the many recreational psychoactive drugs have nootropic effects, especially the psychedelics, they are not considered to be in the class of substances known as nootropics. And (this is the most important point:), if they were all included on the nootropics list, they would detract from primary nootropics and render false the statement With a few notable exceptions, nootropics have very low or no toxicity, making overdose unlikely. Almost every one would be an exception, because overdosing with recreational drugs is highly likely, and many carry deadly risks. I suggest that a separate subheading covering the nootropic effects of recreational drugs be included, with close attention given to their hazards, side effects, and legal status (they are generally highly illegal and carry severe punishments for possession and distribution). --Transhumanist 01:25, 18 June 2006 (UTC)
Thats LSD is a "Poison" is Totaly wrong, becouse its more save in use as many nootropics listen on the page here. (Huperzine A<-this is very dangerously) world-wide millions of people die by trinking Alkohol, and LSD ? 1-2-3-4-5 People world-wide ? A question do you have ever consume LSD ? Its an Fakt that stand on the German LSD Page "LSD was a effective headache" if you can unterstand this, is only the dose where differentiated between cures and poison. And yes You are Right LSD have many nootropic effects. Many more as the most of the nootropic listen on this artikel. I test a lot from the list! "nootropics have very low or no toxicity, making overdose unlikely Yes, but LSD has these criteria becouse the dose can handle by a doktor and this tiny dose makes overdose realy not possibly, becouse the effect dose is factor 1000 to die dose, you can eate a yearly supply and you can't Die. I think your Problem is thats LSD the Most Effektiv nootropic on the list, and yes its true lsd is dangerously but only vor the spirit/soul and not vor the body. so its not the best nootropic ok, but it is a nootropic.Qaridarium 14:30, 21 June 2006 (UTC)
You've taken my statement out of context. I placed "poison" in quotes, because I was referring to your statement "The dose makes the poison", which of course was in turn referring to the dosage of LSD. You are the one who initially referred to it as a poison. I was just continuing your metaphor. As for LSD being a nootropic, let me emphasize that it inebriates and incapacitates the individual for 8 to 12 hours, during which time the person taking it can't do much of anything but dwell on the experience. (See the in-depth description of the phenomenon at Albert Hofmann: LSD - My Problem Child.) It doesn't improve functionality while dosed up, on the contrary, it makes the person dysfunctional! Benefits from the altered consciousness experienced during the trip may be realized after the drug session is over, but these are unpredictable, not easily controlled, and they are offset by the risks of taking the drug. Therefore, I've listed LSD under Recreational drugs with purported nootropic effects in the article. It's covered. The reader is well-informed about LSD, yet not led astray on the matter of its usefulness as a nootropic. --Transhumanist 19:36, 19 June 2006 (UTC)
Yes all true, Nice Work! i read the book (My Problem Child) to but in German (the orginal language).Qaridarium 14:31, 21 June 2006 (UTC)

The Fucking Vandalism abaut the LSD part is bad and this stubit people don't talk abaut this at this discussuin Page... so badly... but yes in Germany there to stubit for all.. fakts on the german Notropikum site... to bad rely... bye -- 00:11, 17 July 2007 (UTC)

Can anyone clarify where reference #35 ( -- no longer available at original URL) makes the claim of a 10% increase in linear IQ? This is an interesting conclusion if true, but searching for "linear", "intelligence", "IQ", etc in the referenced article does not directly provide the text of this claim. (talk) 17:49, 1 October 2008 (UTC)

Took a look, agreed, nothing in the article states this, nor is the article itself a good source. I've removed it with some other rewording. I am also considering removing the entire seciton unless someone can find some more and much better quality references on the topic. Otherwise it's a bunch of hearsay and wishful thinking. Halogenated (talk) 01:53, 2 October 2008 (UTC)

Huperzine A

Qaridarium, please provide your sources on huperzine, as they will prove useful for this page as well as the main article on huperzine. --Transhumanist 01:51, 20 June 2006 (UTC)

Its simple its the German site if you don't can read german i will translate it for you. the english site is a litle better but i think Huperzine is dangerously in wrong Doses.. the plant Lycopodium annotinum contained are listed as poisonous due to Huperzine sorry for bad english.
But i think if you geht the right dose it will save.. like the same as LSD only the Dose makes the Poison.
Huperzin A belonged to the Lycopodiumalkaloiden (comes thus into Lycopodium), it affects restraining the acetylcholinesterase and improves in the bioassay the adaptability and the memory ability. It will/became (?) clinical studies for the treatment of Alzheimer and ageconditioned memory loss accomplished, results do not know I however. Worth mentioning it is however that the Lycopodiumalkaloide is toxic and can with pasture animals, which eat Lycopodium to death lead.Qaridarium 20:41, 21 June 2006 (UTC)
Likewise, the concentration of Vitamin A in polar bear livers can kill you. :-) I agree with you that the toxicology of each substance, especially the most toxic ones, should be covered, or at least linked to, in the the list. --Transhumanist 11:35, 23 June 2006 (UTC)
Yes it's important to think abaut the dose. Nootropic is not a definition of the dose. But some litle warnings infos concerning application errors because of overdosing is meaningful. Qaridarium 20:23, 23 June 2006 (UTC)

References please...

Please bear with me, and I will explain the purpose of this diatribe at the end of this post...

I have found Yohimbe to be a potent dopamine releaser, and a cognitive enhancer. I could always feel these effects when I used it - it blasts the blues, launches stress tolerance through the roof, and increases volition/vigilance. But the latter effect was short-lived, perhaps because I went over the top of the cognitive-enhancing dosage curve every time I used it. Though I could feel the dopamine surge, I couldn't do much with it, because of the paradoxical curve thing, or because I was too ill with acidosis or too oversexed (in this sense, it usurps volition, sending it in a very specific direction). :-)

Fortunately, as I've recently discovered, its mind boosting effects occur at doses far below the usually recommended sex-enhancing doses. :-)

It took me a long time to figure out why I was experiencing acidosis every time I took yohimbine. I finally discovered that this did not occur when I forgot to take my vitamin C that day (a rare occassion indeed). Since then, I've found that by taking baking soda with my Vitamin C (2 grams = 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda per 13.5 grams = a tablespoon of vitamin C ascorbic acid powder), as per Linus Pauling's recommendation (though he didn't mention what baking soda dosage to take, as I recall), and by diffusing yohimbe powder (containing 1 to 4 miligrams of yohimbine) into green tea or food (rice, oatmeal, etc., where the yohimbe powder is added to the boiling water before adding the grain), with the tea sipped throughout the day, or the food spread out over 3 or 4 meals, I don't experience any negative side effects at all. (Note that I added both to my routine at the same time, so I can't comment on variations, though my guess is that it's the baking soda that makes the difference, since I've gotten sick on as little as 1 mg of yohimbine, and because both the tea and food methods have the same effect as each other). The sex enhancement achieved via this method (at between 1 to 4mg dosage) is reduced to improving virility during sex, without adding more need for it.

I haven't found any information (yet) on exactly how yohimbine boosts dopamine levels, so to be on the safe side, I simply assume it causes its release. Therefore, in order to avoid the effects of dopamine depletion, I take a small amount of L-phenylalanine (200mg) every couple of days -- the rather stabilizing effects on emotion at this dosage seem to wear off after about that long, though I'm still experimenting to find the optimal dosage for volitional effects.

The nicest thing I've discovered about yohimbine so far is that its anti-depressant and stress tolerance-increasing effects are almost immediate (which further supports my guess that it is a dopamine releaser, though I guess the same effects could be achieved by inhibiting reuptake/enzymatic breakdown, but I doubt yohimbine does that). No need to wait days for dopamine precursors to work. Therefore, yohimbine has shown itself to me to be a useful tool for adjusting dopaminergic effects, very handy when quick adaptation to stressors is needed.

Speaking of stressors, yohimbine + phenylalanine seem to completely eliminate deadline stress, replacing panic with the strong confidence that you can dance around any problem that arises. I'm really enjoying this aspect of it. Meanwhile, piracetam facilitates a steady stream of creative output, and eliminates repetitive self-banter. Together, the combination is nothing short of awesome.

Yohimbine + phenylalanine also seems to improve sleep efficiency, reduces "the grogs" upon waking up, and ameliorates the side effects of sleep deprivation. At the sex enhancement doses of yohimbine (2+ mg taken straight), I've found that I can't sleep at all until it wears off.

Another reason for keeping doses so low is due to all the other cognitive enhancers I take. (Synergy and the paradoxical effect on cognitive function at overdose levels).

I've found that tolerance to piracetam + choline + B5 + acetyl-L-carnitine + lipoic acid does not occur. This formula seems to eliminate hyperactivity and erratic shifts in attention almost completely. By the way, I've found that B5 in small doses (50 to 100 mg) is sufficient to support the other nutrients in the formula, while taking a whole capsule (500mg) is overkill and makes the formula run out way too fast in addition to pushing the effects over the top of the curve. This is particularly deleterious to performance in pool (billiards) tournaments. :-)

There seems to be no tolerance build-up to the yohimbe/L-phenylalanine formula either. I think the reason for this, and for the choline formula, is that they are precursor-based. By the way, the only B6 (a dopaminergic cofactor) that I take is in my multi-nutrient caps (about 50 mg). (I take 8 caps of Extend Ultra every day or two).

As for other cogs (cognitive enhancers), I've only been dabbling, relying on the above formulas to establish a baseline against which to compare the effects of the rest. Since I'm still experimenting with supplement schedules, it may be too early to add more variables to the mix. But there is one additional phenomenon that I have noticed: when taking idebenone, significant improvement of practiced activities (such as performing music) can be noticed in the next day's practice session (probably due to it enhancing memory consolidation). This doesn't seem to occur without it (at a noticeable level that is), even on piracetam, though piracetam makes it easier to try new patterns, so the two substances combined are quite amazing. As a comparison, similar improvements in performance generally take me weeks of practice to achieve.

By the way, for the sake of comparison, I weigh about 150 pounds.

I realize that all of this, being anecdotal and highly speculative data, may be of limited or no use as content to this encyclopedia, but I was wondering if any of you have run across any references that would explain or support the above observations. Such could provide us with some interesting and fruitful research vectors to follow, which might turn up content we could use.
--Transhumanist 15:22, 24 June 2006 (UTC)

-- Although I've never done your specific choline regimin, I can vouch for your analysis from my experiences. I do tyrosine, which is a more direct precursor to dopamine/epinephrine than phenylalanine. It totally negates my stimulant addiction.

citation requested

I asked for citation regarding the ill effects of excess acetylcholine. I could not find any evidence to support this warning on my brief internet search, so it's clearly not common knowledge. I may go through this article later and ask for citation for a great many other things. In the meantime, could the poster of that warning please cite his source? The included reference to cholinesterase inhibitor is irrelevant, although I've left it for the time being. --Quintopia 18:10, 11 August 2006 (UTC)

Hi. Who posted it? Perhaps you should write him/her a note on his/her talk page. --I will look for any replies here. G'day. --Transhumanist 01:06, 13 August 2006 (UTC)

I think the warning on acetylcholine is ludicrous. All substances are harmful at some level, whether they be sugar, salt, vitamin A, and all of the substances on the adjacent page. Even water is toxic if you drink too much too fast. "Excessive" is highly subjective, and is determined on a substance-by-substance basis. The warning as posted basically means that the substance can be overdosed on without mentioning what dosage levels are too high or what the effects of overdosing are. I think the warning should be removed. --I will look for any replies here. G'day. --Transhumanist 01:06, 13 August 2006 (UTC)

As for acetylcholine, it is possible to increase your levels too high. Taking too much choline and/or too much vitamin B-5, especially when initially taking them (as your tolerance hasn't built up yet), can cause the following side-effects:

  • Diarrhea (choline bitartrite and vitamin B-5 are natural laxatives)
  • Muscle cramps (acetylcholine is the body's main neuromuscular transmitter - overloading the body's supply of this increases the sensitivity of muscles to incoming nerve signals, resulting in involuntary contraction. A positve side effect -- or intended effect, depending upon why you boosted it -- is increased muscular strength: increasing the transmitter increases the signal strength of nerve transmissions, and the stronger the signals, the stronger a muscle's response. In addition, vitamin B-5, which is a component of the KREBS acid cycle, increases muscular stamina by participating in the production of ATP, the body's universal energy molecule.
  • Nausea (choline increases acetylcholine levels in the brain, thus sensitizing it and every one of its subsystems, including your equilibrium center and reflexes (such as your vomiting reflex), which can make you highly sensitive to motion and susesptible to puking. This side-effect usually goes away as you get used to taking choline. You may also feel much better after you vomit, as this uses the stored up acetylcholine in that part of the brain.) --I will look for any replies here. G'day. --Transhumanist 01:06, 13 August 2006 (UTC)

Thanks, transhumanist. Now where did you find this information, so I can fill in the missing citation? --Quintopia 17:31, 26 August 2006 (UTC)

removed "Creativity boosting and idea stimulation"

This section appears to be unverifiable EggplantWizard 18:45, 5 September 2006 (UTC)

Please refer to the study "Abolition of latent inhibition by a single 5 mg dose. of d-amphetamine in man." Latent inhibition has been implicated as a biological limitation on human creativity and has been shown to be reduced via action of dopamine agonists and reuptake inhibitors. Agalmic (talk) 00:22, 21 June 2008 (UTC)

Citation tags

This article had so many citation tags that it made it almost unreadable. Therefore I've removed them. The general citation tag at the top of the page is good enough. A general effort to provide reference citations is underway. --The Transhumanist 22:15, 13 September 2006 (UTC)

I reapplied several tags to highlight specific areas that require attention. Halogenated (talk) 21:41, 9 December 2007 (UTC)

Way too many drugs that havent proven themselves

I almost think the citation tags are good because without citations in a week, everything without a tag should be removed. I have looked into nootropics before, and this is the most optimistic page ever. VERY few things have proven to be nootropics in double bind studies. One of the most famous, piracetam, back in 98 was shown to be unconclusive as a cognitive enhancer in normal individuals. I mention that because I this drug has more potential than 2/3 of the stuff on here.

Seriously now, VITAMIN C? Yes, without vitamin C I think that you won't be at your cognitive max, but I would bet my house that vitamin C supplementation confers no cognitive enhancement whatsoever in the average healthy individual. Unless something has been proven to be a cognitive enhancement in a double blind study that is peer reviewed, I don't think it belongs on this encyclopedia page. Chromium piccolinate? That has shown to do absolutely nothing unless you are chromium deficient. Most of the items here are similar in nature IMO. Only things that confer an cognitive/mental advantage to healthy individuals should be listed. If somebody wants a list of possible cognitive enhancers, let them to go or google search were they will find wonderful cognitive enhancers like "Structred water."

There have been conclusive studies on the cognitive enhancing effects of Vitamin C, I just can't remember where I read about them. I'll find the references eventually. But if you think about it, it makes sense, since Vitamin C is a cofactor in the production of dopamine, one of the primary neurotransmitters.  The Transhumanist   12:27, 22 December 2006 (UTC)

Lastly, it is very important to list whether these drugs have been shown to increase cognition only in elderly patients with dementia or in regular healthy subjects. I bet many students come to this page looking for help.

One thing that has proven to work, creatine, is mentioned only slightly. It has been shown to help with mental fatigue and sleep deprivation. I would love to add to a smaller more concise page, but we need to get rid of most of the crap on here before we can add good stuff. I am still in awe of some of the stuff on here. Rjkd12 20:45, 15 December 2006 (UTC)

Yes but this list will add to the placebo effect when people take this and placebo is just as good as if this would really work 20:36, 19 December 2006 (UTC)
That is ludicris. Nobody wants a page of placebo drugs. I am not saying placebo doesn't exist, it does and it is extremely powerful. This is an encylopedia though, there is no room for possible things that may work due to placebo. If I want a placebo to help me work I'll eat a "super" tic-tac prior to studying along with a vitamin C tab. Rjkd12 19:09, 21 December 2006 (UTC)
This isn't the article "placebo", and it's not the place to list "placebo drugs". If you want a list of placebo drugs, get some various colored sugar pills and name them anything you want, just don't put 'em on this page.   Most of the list is pretty accurate, we just need to gather the supporting references. Also, I don't think the article should discriminate against the elderly nor mentally disabled; that is, substances with cognitive enhancing benefits to those groups should be included, with mention of the benefits conferred.  The Transhumanist   12:21, 22 December 2006 (UTC)
I agree with 90% of what you say. I just think that prior to putting them in the article we should have the evidence rather than put them in and see if we can find the evidence later (because some of the things on there won't be able to be backed up with evidence). IMO, the other way is putting the cart before the horse. Also, I wasn't saying that we shouldn't add stuff about elderly and disabled, but it should be clearly stated if the said drug has been shown to work with what groups. As you said dose is so important, so is target audience. Just because a drug can help someone who has a certain disability doesn't indicate at all it will help someone without that disability confer benefits above and beyond what they already have. This is in the case of zinc. Zinc has been shown to raise testosterone in zinc deficient people. So, if cited it should say that and not "Zinc raises testosterone." Because a non zinc-deficient person taking zinc wont get any change in testosterone.Rjkd12 18:01, 26 December 2006 (UTC)
I'm against removing any claims from the article unless they are found to be false (notable but dubious claims should be reported as dubious so that the readers of the article are better informed about what works, what likely works, and what probably does not work - I haven't read the article in awhile and will go over it again), as removing content would discourage people from adding to the page. We should encourage material to be added, not discourage it. As it stands, the list provides leads. It is a very good starting point for searching the internet on nootropics. The article is valuable in its present form, and is being continually improved. Let it continue to improve. In the meantime, I suggest we start tracking down references. Also, if a substance is purported to have nootropic qualities, and is notable in this context (by being covered in the press), then such substances should be listed in the article in that context. If a substance is believed to be a nootropic, and this has been published in reliable sources, then such facts (that there is a belief) meets the criteria for presentation on Wikipedia. As long as the case is presented in context and not overstated. If something is widely sold as a nootropic, it should be listed here, with a statement as to what evidence exists to support the claims made for the substance, or the lack thereof. We need to summarize the state of affairs in this field, to save readers the time from having to do it themselves. The information presented so far was pretty hard to track down and is very useful to have in one place.  The Transhumanist   11:20, 29 December 2006 (UTC)

Cerebral Health Link

As director of the site, I would like to officially request a link.Philoprof (talk) 18:13, 14 December 2007 (UTC)Philoprof

Due to the rising profile of Wikipedia and the amount of extra traffic it can bring a site, there is a great temptation to use Wikipedia to advertise or promote links. This includes both commercial and non-commercial sites. You should avoid linking to a website that you own, maintain or represent, even if the guidelines otherwise imply that it should be linked. If the link is to a relevant and informative site that should otherwise be included, please consider mentioning it on the talk page and let neutral and independent Wikipedia editors decide whether to add it. This is in line with the conflict of interests guidelines.Shoessss 15:57, 29 December 2006 (UTC)

And hence the discussion...

I've looked over the website, and it has a pretty good news section, with some very informative articles. I've added the link back in.  The Transhumanist   11:33, 30 December 2006 (UTC)
I disagree. I removed the link. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:08, 13 December 2007 (UTC)

Thanks Transhumanist! I hope to continue to make improvements to the site and feedback is always appreciated.

This website is spam, pure and simple. If there are any useful articles they are not the focus, and certainly not even easy to locate on the site. It is concerned primarily with the sale of SYNAPTINE™, as it is the first noticeable item on the site, and is certainly not an educational site. Someone else removed it, and I intend to help keep it off unless you can demonstrate clearly why it should be allowed.Halogenated (talk) —Preceding comment was added at 03:39, 14 December 2007 (UTC) is not spam pure and simple! There are tons of articles on the Brain Research and Information Network (BRAIN) See and perhaps this is where the link should go. It appears that you have not looked through the site sufficiently. There is one product that is set to launch called Synaptine, but Synaptine is by no means the whole focus of the site. Synaptine appears at the top of the homepage because it was just released this week and appears in the news section.
In my opinion, is one the most informative sites of all the one's listed. The Better Brain Nootropics Index at is an absolute mess. The article from The Scientist entitled "Seeking Smart Drugs" is now by subscription only. The Business Week article entitled, "I Can't Remember" has ads left and right. Erowid makes money off donations, so it could be considered "spam". The Slashdot link is mostly just a forum. The Society for the Advancement for Cosmetic Pharmacology and Hedweb are decent, but I wouldn't go far to say that they are outstanding resources for nootropics by any means.
I removed the link to the subscription only article and to betterbrain until they can cope with all the spam. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:48, 14 December 2007 (UTC)
To be perfectly honest, I am seriously considering removing all links to any products except Synaptine which I personally developed and believe in. I have thought about Synaptine for over two years and so it is important to me. However, with that single commercially oriented exception, I want to be one of the best websites for nootropics and brain health on the net. Further, I take wikipedia references to the site very seriously and do the best I can to make as educational as possible. Philoprof (talk) 18:07, 14 December 2007 (UTC)Philoprof
As per our discussion on your talk page, I'm changing my opinion to retaining the cerebralhealth link provided it is restructured to highlight educational information rather than products. No need to remove all ads, perhaps just scale back a bit and or place them less obnoxiously. Perhaps some of the other resource links in this article should be reviewed too, however Erowid is an excellent amateur resource, and donations are not equivalent to ads. They are indeed information merchants. Cheers Halogenated (talk) 19:34, 14 December 2007 (UTC)

I appreciate your candid and constructive feedback Halogenated. I plan on working to scale back on most if not all of the ads on It's tough to find a website model that is informational and ad free while creating some kind of revenue to keep things going. Sites like wikipedia can run off donations alone and tons of user work that is more or less provided free, but its tough to pull that off. As I mentioned earlier, I may drop all the ads from the site because my primary intent is to provide information about brain health, nootropics, and contemporary neuroscience research. At the moment, the Brain Research and Information Network page is the best source of information on that is ad free. Philoprof (talk) 19:58, 14 December 2007 (UTC)Philoprof

I have yanked virtually all ads on per our discussions. The ads really didn't provide any kind of revenue anyway. I hope wikipedia editors will consider putting the site back up on the Nootropics page and I appreciate any additional feedback users may have regarding future development. And I like Erowid by the way. Philoprof (talk) 20:28, 14 December 2007 (UTC)Philoprof

I have put the link back up, but directed to the neurobiology links directly rather than the homepage, for now at least. Site looks a lot better without the columns of ads! The many of the links look pretty interesting, and are quite legitimate, so I think it is a good addition to this article.Halogenated (talk) 23:25, 14 December 2007 (UTC)

Thanks Halogenated! Philoprof (talk) 12:11, 15 December 2007 (UTC)Philoprof


It seems to be used alot by experienced nootropic users, would appreciate if anyone helped me find some sources so it could be add to the article. As I am sure it has a few cognitive enhancing effects 19:31, 8 January 2007 (UTC)

It enables a person to stay up for extremely long periods of time (called "cramming sessions") without serious adverse side effects, and without the deliterious effects of mental fatigue (in this respect it is a very powerful nootropic). U.S. Special Forces use it on special ops to stay awake and mentally alert. Generally if you stay up for 3 days straight without this stuff, you could expect a 2 or 3 week emotional crash (depression). Modafinil prevents that side-effect of sleep deprivation, and also eliminates the need for catch-up sleep after a cram (that is, sleep your normal 8-hours, and you're fine). It speeds recovery from existing sleep deprivation (like if you cram without it). Besides enabling cramming sessions, alternatively you can take it right before you go to sleep to reduce normal sleep time. Used this way (and taken after you wake up), it resets circadian rhythms and eliminates jet lag. Oddly, it doesn't keep you awake if you decide to go to sleep while on it, and seems to make napping highly efficient. It alleviates depression in general. It improves concentration and mental stamina, and there is a push by doctors currently to get it approved as a treatment for ADD. It reduces reliance on subvocalization. It is already approved for use to treat narcolepsy, and it works just as good on non-narcoleptics. Too good actually. It tends to turn people into workaholics. It works well in combination with other nootropics, especially the cholinergics. And it seems to take the edge off of caffiene (i.e., reduces the wired effect). There should be enough search terms here to get you started. Caution: long-term effects of modafinil-enabled sleep reduction and cramming sessions are unknown. If you use it for that, you are turning yourself into a human guinea pig. The Transhumanist   20:49, 10 February 2007 (UTC)
  • I found a peer-reviewed article on modafinil in healthy subjects increasing performance, but it was a while ago and I can't find it again (It's too new for JSTOR it appears), any help would be appreciated, because it could definately back up claims of nootropic performance. Wintermut3 01:01, 15 February 2007 (UTC)
Transhumanist, that is quite an optimistic writeup about the drug. I probably haven't read nearly as much as you on it, I simply read a review that came out a few years ago, but I don't remember them mentioning all those benefits. Actually, at the time of the review it conferred no benefit to non sleep deprived people. Then, I read somewhere else (I didnt' check up on the source) that it did help out with mental fatigue in non-sleep deprived people.
I'd be really curious for you to cite your sources as I would love to read up on it and get a better idea about the drug. Personally I dunno how much it would help me since I am too anal about sleep to pull an all nighter, but if its as good as you say I'd love to try it since I definetly go through some sleep deprived periods. If you can cite as many sources as possible I'd really appreciate it. Don't forget the vitamin C stuff on your talk page ;) Rjkd12 19:36, 18 February 2007 (UTC)


removing section; acts as a poison when used in non alzhiemers people.

  • What about doseage? Are these dangerous in the therapeutic dose (therapeutic dose for alzhiemers patients)? I understand a large does of cholinesterase inhibitors will produce paralysis, hence why they are useful in venom. Doesn't mean that they are poison. I don't agree with the removal unless you have proof that they are poison in therapeutic doses. But, I don't agree with having this in there until someone puts in a study that shows these things work. If they do work, do they only work in alzhiemers patients or everybody? If only in alzhiemers patients I think that should be noted. Just look what you removed... vitamin b5, carnitine, choline? Those are poison unless you are an alzhiemers patient? Doubtful. Rjkd12 01:40, 22 February 2007 (UTC)
Everyone knows vitamins are good for you. But cholinesterase inhibitors were used as nerve agents in World War 2. Do you really want to take a chance? I don't agree with having this in there until someone puts in a study that shows these things work. If they do work, do they only work in alzhiemers patients or everybody? Well here we can both agree on. --Parker007 03:29, 22 February 2007 (UTC)
If you really want lots of this acytecholine neurotransmitters get some Sarin. You will surely become smart for the last minutes of your life. :). --Parker007 03:31, 22 February 2007 (UTC)
That is incorrect. Those cholinesterase inhibitors are irreversible. Their pharmacology is very different from the clinically used cholinesterase inhibitors.

Agalmic (talk) 16:20, 25 May 2008 (UTC)

Comon Parker, work with me. Did you hear anything I said about dose? Sarin is a ACh esterase inhibitor that was made to be nerve gas, so I doubt its good for anyone. There are ACh inhibitors to treat s myasthenia gravis and Alzheimer's disease also. Are you telling me that they are giving nerve gas to alzheimers patients? No, which means that these drugs have efficacy in certain instances at certain doses. Saying that these drugs act like nerve agents in normal people is ignorant. Do I want to take the chance? No, but that doesn't mean that others agree. If I read a few good peer reviewd studes about ACh esterase inhibitors or ACh promoters and they turned out to help normal young people and I could get my hands on some I'd give it a shot. As per my previous statement, the only reason why I'm not reverting the main page is because I have yet to see any good studies that show these work as nootropics, but I also have yet to look. --Rjkd12

Is this saying that increasing acetylcholine increases performance, but only up to a point and then it does the reverse? Or is it talking about inhibiting versus uptake?

NantucketNoon 11:38, 11 September 2007 (UTC)

Removing Vitamins

Okay, per WP:BOLD, I have decided to remove Vitamins; I am putting a sentence in WP:LEAD stating that vitamins are nootropic. --Parker007 04:18, 22 February 2007 (UTC)

Removing Inositol

  • Inositol - Is a B-vitamin like substance with anti-anxiety effects. It is believed to produce its anti-anxiety effects by improving the binding of gabaergics to GABAA receptors. Inositol is a sugar, and is therefore an alternative energy source for brain and muscle tissues. It produces a sugar high without a sugar low, making it especially suited for sweetening tea (instead of sugar). It is also a membrane stabilizer which can strengthen (and therefore help protect) neurons.

--Parker007 15:46, 22 February 2007 (UTC)
The main article for Inositol is well cited, but after reading the abstracts of the studies from references 11, 12, 13 & 14 from PubMed, it doesn't state how it works? --Parker007 15:48, 22 February 2007 (UTC)

The last abstract shows some promise: When chronic hyponatremia is rapidly corrected, reaccumulation of brain organic osmolytes is delayed and brain cell shrinkage occurs, leading to the osmotic demyelination syndrome (ODS). We hypothesized that treatment with myoinositol, a major organic osmolyte, could prevent ODS. Severe hyponatremia was induced in adult male rats by administration of arginine vasopressin and intravenous infusion of dextrose and water. Sixty-four hours after induction of hyponatremia, all animals underwent rapid correction of hyponatremia with infusion of hypertonic saline over 4 hours, increasing the serum sodium from 105 to 135 mM; half of the animals were also given myoinositol intravenously beginning 20 minutes before correction and continuing for 28 hours. Serum sodium concentrations were equivalent in both groups at all time points. At 7 days, 7 of 8 animals that received myoinositol survived compared with one of the 9 control animals (p < 0.01). In a second study, sodium was reduced to 106 mM over 64 hours in 24 animals and then corrected by 20 mM over 4 hours with concomitant loading and infusion of either mannitol (control) or myoinositol. Animals were killed 96 hours after correction of hyponatremia was begun. Myoinositol-treated animals had significantly fewer demyelinating lesions than mannitol (2.25 +/- 1.1 versus 6.42 +/- 1.4 lesions/brain, p < 0.03). We conclude that myoinositol administration improves survival and reduces myelinolysis after rapid correction of chronic hyponatremia in rats. --Parker007 15:56, 22 February 2007 (UTC)

I don't really understand why most of this stuff is here. The first two studies do seem to indicate that inositol supplementation can help out with OCD, bi polar etc... but I think those are the only relevent studies. One of them is just about how phosphoinositides are used in cellular signalling. This doesn't make them a nootropic. The closest thing they have to that is a table of a list of diseases that have been liked to phosphoinositide-metabolizing enzymes. The last one is about extremem hyponatremia in rats. This has nothing to do with being a nootropic. This article and schpeal should be on the hyponatremia article and not this one.Rjkd12 16:26, 23 February 2007 (UTC)

  1. ^ a b McDaniel et al. 2002
  2. ^ Goldman et al., 1999 cited in McDaniel et al. 2002
  3. ^ Gabryel & Trzeciak 1994 cited in McDaniel et al. 2002
  4. ^ a b c Saletu & Grunberger 1985
  5. ^ Paula-Barbosa et al. 1991
  6. ^ Riedel et al.
  7. ^ Genkova-Papasova & Lazarova-Bakurova 1988
  8. ^ Stancheva et al. 1991
  9. ^ Vaglenova & Petkov 2001
  10. ^ Nomura & Nishizaki 2000
  11. ^ Palatnik A, Frolov K, Fux M, Benjamin J (2001). "Double-blind, controlled, crossover trial of inositol versus fluvoxamine for the treatment of panic disorder". Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology. 21 (3): 335–339. PMID 11386498.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  12. ^ Fux M, Levine J, Aviv A, Belmaker RH (1996). "Inositol treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder". American Journal of Psychiatry. 153 (9): 1219–21. PMID 8780431.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  13. ^ Di Paolo G, De Camilli P (2006). "Phosphoinositides in cell regulation and membrane dynamics". Nature. 443 (7112): 651–7. PMID 17035995.
  14. ^ Silver SM, Schroeder BM, Sterns RH, Rojiani AM (2006). "Myoinositol administration improves survival and reduces myelinolysis after rapid correction of chronic hyponatremia in rats". J Neuropathol Exp Neurol. 65 (1): 37–44. PMID 16410747.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)

What is a nootropic?

What is a nootropic? In my opinion, and what it seems like from definitions is that it enhances cognition i.e. "Smart Drugs". Certain things have been proven in studies to do this, and we all agree on some of them, such as amphetamines (dextroamphetamine, methyphenidate), caffeine, aerobic exercise etc. I wonder about another sub-groups of things that seems to be on this page.

It's things that help diseases. Is a drug that helps someone who is bi-polar a nootropic? It helps them go from a diseased state to a normal one. What about bulimia? I wonder if these drugs/treatments/supplementation references and studies should go on their respective disease pages. If I had bulimia, I doubt I'd start researching nootropics to find out how to get help. The idea that inositol helps with hyponatremia has no business in a nootropic page. A more "gray" area one is alzheimers and the elderly. The reason why its gray is that some drugs that have been shown to help those subgroups have shown to confer a benefit to the normal population. (there is one being tested now). Therefore, if these drugs are included (such as ginko, which has never shown to benefit a non-elderly in a study to my knoweldge), they should be prefeced with the fact as of now it has only shown to help in such subgroups and has/hasn't shown to aid a normal young adult. (Has shown not to help is different than never tested).

Also, drugs that increase brain oxygen level should be prefaced with the idea that this doesn't always confer a cognitive change. Just because the brain gets or removes more oxygen doesn't mean that it helps with mental fatigue.

Lastly, things that can allow a person to stay up for hours don't always give an increase in cognition unless one is tired. An example is creatine. Unless a person is sleep deprived, creatine offers no mental advantage. This should be stated when someone mentions creatine. Modafinil is another one. The last time I read about it, it only helped people who were sleep deprived. Also, things that help with creativity and imagination are different than things that help with mental fatigue in doing 20 minutes worth of math problems meant to fatigue the mind. These subtle differences are important.

If we clean this article up a bit and only include things that have proven to work I think we can add more about the things that do since space will be cleared up about the stuff thats on there that is bogus or dubious. Instead of mentioning creatine briefly next to some b-vitamine or something, a whole sub article/paragraph would be better including dose, frequencey, how much it helps, and under what populations (age/sex/mental state) etc. This would be much better for the college student looking for an edge, business professional looking for help with long hours, or the artist looking for inspiration. Just my two cents. Rjkd12 16:47, 23 February 2007 (UTC)

If you run a "normal" google search you will get all biased information, from people trying to sell you those meds. Try using Most of the results however are view the article by paying money. Some places you can read the abstracts. If you find something worthy please mention here. I am trying to clean up the article but first I need to analyze all the drugs mentioned. I am stuck right now on Hydregine see below where I have asked for comments. --Parker007 22:42, 24 February 2007 (UTC)

I get most of my info from pubmed. Type in the drug of interest and start reading abstracts. If its a drug that is already popular to supplement, I'd read one of the latest reviews. Its hard to wade throught the irrelevant studies if you are not used to reading scientific journals. I will look into the drug you mentioned later, and any others are brought up when I have time. I am going to be very busy for the next few weeks, but I'll try to contribue as much as I can. Rjkd12 23:11, 24 February 2007 (UTC)

While Alzheimer's and other neurodegenerative diseases are mentioned under the Health heading, it may be worthwhile to spend a bit more time discussing the benefits of nootropics for specific diseases and purported efficacy. If nootropics are effective in both healthy and diseased brain states, then they may confer advantages to both types of groups. However, any references need to be backed up thoroughly with solid studies conducted by reputable scientists and institutions. Philoprof (talk) 15:02, 15 December 2007 (UTC)Philoprof

Monoamine oxidase inhibitors & the dangers

When ingested orally, Monoamine oxidase inhibitors inhibit the catabolism of dietary amines. Sufficient intestinal MAO-A inhibition can lead to hypertensive crisis, when foods containing tyramine are consumed (so-called "cheese reaction"), or hyperserotonemia if foods containing tryptophan are consumed. The amount required to cause a reaction exhibits great individual variation and depends on the degree of inhibition, which in turn depends on dosage and selectivity.

Thus I am removing MAOIs from the article. --Parker007 21:48, 24 February 2007 (UTC)

Selegiline appears to have been added back in. Whereas it's listed as an MAO-B inhibitor, in slightly higher doses, it's a nonselective (MAO-A and MAO-B) inhibitor, which is probably a warning worth having. That said, I'm not sure why MAOIs should be removed, as they're certainly within the scope of the topic. Dean (talk) 13:46, 4 September 2008 (UTC)

Need Help in analyzing Hydergine as a Nootropic

Okay so I ran a google scholar search for Hydregine:

However after reading many articles I still cannot come to a conclusion.

From our wiki article it states:


Initially the spelling you used above is wrong although later you changed to the correct spelling. If you searched for hydregine, it is no wonder you could not find anything.

I used Hydergine from 1988 until about 1994 and collected information on it. I used it on myself in doses of about 12 - 25 mg / day which is not FDA approved but is within the range required for neural regeneration. It might be interesting to note that I used it in combination with Lucidril and a typical array of other nootropics, multivitamins and minerals balanced to my own needs.

Of course, I am subjective in my analysis, but I believe that hydergine was extremely useful in protecting me from aging processes. I also believe that outside forces opposed to public knowledge of using nootropics in a life extension therapy engaged in an attack on me and everything I was doing. Of course, sublingual Hydergine was made unavailable in the U.S. during the time I was using it. Shortly thereafter, Tryptophan was also outlawed and while many believe that it was the result of the deaths, those close to the issue believe that the outlawing of Tryptophan was for economic reasons and that the fatalities were due to one contaminated batch of tryptophan from one manufacturer (of five in the world at the time).

Most of the knowledge I have gleaned regarding Hydergine comes from Life Extension by Durk Pearson and Sandy Shaw and Smart Drugs by John Morgenthaler.

The interesting tid-bits I recall include: 1) While the populations of Italy and France drink equivalent amounts of wine, the much lower liver dysfunction in France was attributed to the widespread use of ergoloid mesylates.

2) The French paramedics are able to extend until time of brain death upon cessation of oxygenation from 15 minutes to 45 minutes utilizing injectable ergoloid mesylates.

3) My own personal experience (and the basis for the rationale for the manbufacturers cessation of the manufacture of sublingual Hydergine in the U.S.) is that ergoloid mesylate usage induces minor migraine headaches which can be ameliorated by building up the dose slowly. I do not have 'proof', but my own conclusion is that certain substances including Ginkgo Biloba and Ergoloid Mesylates cause a certain amount of dilation of the blood vessels in the brain which in turn causes the headaches. As stated earlier, this only occurs if one starts with a higher dose; starting with a lower dose and building up one can avoid this.

Neal 07:04, 15 October 2007 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:41, 15 October 2007 (UTC)

--Parker007 22:35, 24 February 2007 (UTC)

Coffee as an anti-oxidant

I have been having a hard time finding any hard documentation that suggests coffee has any anti-oxidants in it. Unfortunately the documentation is not done well. Feel free to fix up my mistake. Sorry for not doing better. 01:25, 5 March 2007 (UTC)Nnij

My guess would be that most if not all antioxidants in coffee beans would be destroyed during the roasting process. The Transhumanist 00:04, 7 July 2007 (UTC)


Wasn't piracetam the first synthesized nootropic and one of the first to be designated with the term? I'm surprised it and its fellow synthesized nootropics don't have a particular mention in this article, or any mention really. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 21:51, 5 March 2007 (UTC).

Nope. They're there, right under "Pyrrolidone derivatives" in the section on cholinergics. The Transhumanist 00:01, 7 July 2007 (UTC)
Piracetam was NOT the first synthesized nootropic in my opinion although it was the first I know of to be associated with the term 'nootropic'. Glutamic Acid, used initially as a digestive aid in the U.S. was the first nootropic (or, if you will, A substance that increases intelligence without the deleterious side effects of disrupting neurotransmitter balance and availability). Piracetam and related nootropics were derived from the understanding of the effect of glutamic acid as a nootropic.

Before about 1966, Doctors in Medical School in Poland often used amphetamines prior to exams. When access to amphetamines became extremely restricted, medical students in Poland switched to Glutamic Acid as an alternative prior to exams. The use of glutamic acid is identical with the therapeutic use of Piracetam: starting off with about 5,000 mg per day for three days with meals (approx 1600 mg per meal with three meals a day) tapering down to 1500 mg. per day after three days. I do not know that this enhances the action of glutamic acid but it worked to enhance the cognitive perception of the effect (one is conscious of the change that is induced). I would experimentally draw pictures and note changes in my drawing caused by the use of glutamic acid. The use of Glutamic Acid prior to exams became widespread knowledge in medical schools and someone got the idea (I don't know who) to create various forms to enhance utilization and absorption of the glutamic acid and this is how Piracetam was derived (inductive reasoning). If you look at the nootropics in general, you can categorize them generally as those derived from Glutamic Acid which induce better nerve transmission, lucidril type nootropics (including GH3) that help remove lipofuscin to clear the way for nerve regeneration, antioxidants such as ergoloid mesylates as antioxidants play a critical role in nerve regeneration and cofactors to support body production of neurotransmitters (such as Tyrosine) as well as cofactors to help regenerate nerves (such as RNA).

Neal 07:07, 15 October 2007 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:54, 15 October 2007 (UTC)

'Related pages'

The related pages (should read: See also) list is ridiculous, with maybe 100+ links, most of which are barely relevant. So I have cut almost all of them! Ben Finn 20:39, 16 April 2007 (UTC)

I object. The Transhumanist 00:12, 7 July 2007 (UTC)

Books section

I wonder if this should be mostly or entirely cut. The books mainly look pretty bogus to me - no doubt best-selling 'How to transform your life' (and make the author rich) type popular tosh. They are not scholarly works, of the kind an article like this should be listing if anything. Ben Finn 20:48, 16 April 2007 (UTC)

i agree, the bibliography is a fucking joke. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 18:01, August 22, 2007 (UTC)

I cut this section based on this recommendation existing for six months without challenge EggplantWizard 19:55, 17 October 2007 (UTC)

Folic acid?

What do you think about folic acid? is it nootropic? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:45, 26 November 2007 (UTC)

The comment above about vitamins applies to folic acid(vitamin B9). —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:11, 15 December 2007 (UTC)
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