The term Nootropics applies to a groups of chemicals sharing similar properties. Some of these chemicals are available naturally while some are synthetic and are hence man-made. On the whole, the whole gamut of nootropics chemicals is known to give cognitive benefits to the human brain.
To belong to the category of nootropics, a substance must meet five criteria. These criteria are set by Dr. Corneliu E. Giurgea, the person who invented the term nootropics to refer to these chemicals.
To be Included in the category of Nootropics, a substance must have:
- Augment the learning abilities and memory
- Assist the brain to work under critical conditions like during low oxygen availability or while experiencing electroconvulsive shocks.
- Protect the brain from assaults of chemical or physical in nature
- Enhance the efficiency of neuronal firing control processes
- Non-toxic and come with fewer or no side effects
All those drugs that meet these basic criteria can be called Nootropics. The amazing properties of these class of chemicals make them fit to be called “smart drugs” or “miracle drugs”.
Are they safe?
As per the general understanding goes, the term nootropics suggests that this class of drugs are safe to use. They are also non-toxic. A number of clinical trials have shown that cognitive enhancers or nootropics class of drugs are relatively safer. However, the decision to take a particular drug or dietary supplement belonging to the nootropics category must happen in consultation with a doctor or a thorough research done independently or considering the personal risk tolerance levels of the individual.
Are they addictive?
The term nootropics will only include those drugs that do not lead to habit forming or addiction. Nevertheless, some cognitive enhancers can be addictive as well. Though not psychologically addictive, those substances that have given positive results can be self-reinforcing.
You can check Nootropics professor site if you want to know more about these and want to understand their uses better.