What Are Cognitive Enhancers and How do They Work?

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Making Healthy choices helps enhance your quality of life
Making Healthy choices helps enhance your quality of life

It is important that we take good care and maintenance of our bodies in order to survive and live a healthy life. Life is fragile, and the moment that one develops an issue, it significantly reduces their quality of life. This is why we require nutritious food to keep up a good immune system and regular exercise to keep fit, and sometimes, drugs that help boost our health.

One such group of drugs is Cognitive Enhancers, also known as nootropics or what many people call ‘smart drugs’. These drugs are taken to enhance mental aptitude, help with concentration, as well as improve your memory and keep you alert. However, keep in mind that there are many types of Cognitive Enhancers, and thus, it is wise to choose the best cognitive supplements for the sake of your cognitive and overall health. 

What Exactly Are Cognitive Enhancers?

Essentially, cognitive enhancers are drug supplements that help improve cognitive ability. In a world where work is a priority to many, it is common for people to experience burnout and stress even as the day begins. Hence, these supplements have come a long way in helping people stay focused enough to maintain a good work ethic. Nootropics have become popular among workaholics and college students alike, being a group of the population that needs to maximize energy and time. 

Cognitive enhancers are also used to treat medical conditions such as dementia or ADHD, besides other health issues like narcolepsy. Typically, ‘smart drugs’ are simply stimulants that keep your brain alert, including drugs like Adderall used to manage ADHD. However, despite the purpose of taking cognitive enhancers, they effectively work to elevate people’s mood in addition to keeping them focused.

Types of Cognitive Enhancers

The term cognitive enhancers is used to describe drugs or substances used to boost cognitive function in general. However, nootropics are primarily medications, while another group of cognitive enhancers are natural supplements like Fish oil or Gingko Biloba. These are often long-term and are used regularly as opposed to nootropic drugs that you might use when a lack of concentration is noticed.

In other words, natural supplements work to improve cognitive function gradually and with regular use, just like other supplements like Vit C might work. Their effects may not be immediate, but they are long-lasting compared to nootropic drugs.     

How Do Cognitive Enhancers Work?

According to researchers, there are different ways in which cognitive enhancers work to keep you alert and focused. In other words, the booster you are using affects a specific mechanism of the brain to enhance a given facet of cognition. Therefore, different cognitive enhancers work in very distinct ways. 

For instance, some enhancers like ADHD medication work to increase dopamine levels in the brain, increasing your concentration. Others may increase blood flow to the brain, enabling it to use more oxygen and subsequently allowing elevated cognitive function. Alternatively, some boosters raise adrenaline levels in the body, which serves the same purpose as consuming a lot of caffeine. This effectively keeps you awake for longer periods. 

Common Side Effects of Cognitive Enhancers

The side effects of nootropics heavily depend on the drug being used. Nevertheless, some common side effects noticed across various drugs include headaches, anxiety, dizziness, restlessness, difficulty sleeping, and a fast heart rate. The long-term side effects could include high blood pressure, stomach ulcers, and addiction. 

Keep in mind that the side effects are dependent on how you use the drugs. Misuse of cognitive enhancers tends to cause more serious side effects and health issues such as ulcers. This condition may develop when the drug is used often without prior consumption of a proper meal. You may also be at risk of an overdose if you do not take the drug as prescribed, which usually happens when people are desperate to stay awake and thus keep popping pills.      

What Is Important To Note While Using Cognitive Enhancers

Overall, it is strongly advised that you have your cognitive enhancers prescribed by a doctor rather than buy via the internet or over the counter. Some of these drugs can cause serious health effects if misused, and therefore, it is more appropriate to have your doctor prescribe them since they will explain how to use them properly and their possible risks. 

Moreover, note that drug interactions could be fatal or cause serious health effects, which a doctor can help you avoid. Additionally, these drugs are not suitable for people with a history of addiction, considering that some of the compounds can be very addictive. People who tend to use drugs irresponsibly are also at risk of overdose and death. You must use these drugs with the utmost caution.