The Hollywood movie Limitless explored the idea of increasing cognitive abilities through the use of medication. A pill that could make someone intelligent, and improve abilities such as attention span, concentration, memory, motivation, and other similar functions is an attractive concept. But can such a pill exist in real life? The fictional pill depicted in the movie has yet to become a reality. However, there are certain medications made specifically to enhance the characteristics mentioned above.
What are nootropics?
Nootropics are cognitive enhancers that can occur naturally or be made synthetically. They can be used in combinations as well. Nootropics such as Modalert 200 mg are primarily used to treat sleeping disorders such as narcolepsy, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), or shift work sleep disorder. Other than that, nootropics can also help improve cognitive functions such as concentration and memory. The use of these medications without consulting a doctor is not recommended as they can have adverse side effects or even induce psychosis. The pills will not increase someone’s intelligence, nor will they suddenly solve all problems as is shown in movies.
The search for a pill that could improve brain functioning coincided with the release of the movie Limitless. And Modafinil was developed in an attempt to replicate the NZT-48 pill shown in the movie.
What are the benefits of nootropics?
As mentioned earlier, Nootropics are mainly responsible for affecting brain functions. Cognitive functions and analytical decision-making skills are supposedly improved upon consumption, as well as problem-solving skills. Decision-making skills are also strengthened according to the claims made by manufacturers. The impacts made by nootropics may be beneficial for students who are looking for ways to retain more information. This type of medication is also known for supposedly increasing the ability to retain information.
Nootropics like Waklert 150 mg are used for sleeping disorders as they can make the user more awake, increasing the number of hours available in a day in which work can be done. For people with demanding jobs and responsibilities which require more time, nootropics are a possible method of inducing wakefulness. Nootropics do not keep people awake for extraordinary amounts of time, nor do they bring about any intoxicating feeling or a ‘high’. Like some other stimulants, nootropics do not result in energy crashes that are sudden and unpredictable. They simply help your mind stay more awake and alert for the hours in which you are awake. Also, they help in avoiding distractions. This helps to go through working hours without being interrupted or sleepy.
Can nootropics work?
The human cognitive process is still not fully understood, especially when it comes to manipulating the human brain to bring about specific results. The success of nootropics could also be due to a sort of placebo effect wherein belief in the functioning of the medicine leads to better results. Those who believe that they will have more concentration (due to a medicine), could end up having concentrated more at work simply due to that belief. It is not possible to gain superhero-like abilities after taking a pill.
Cognitive functioning can also be improved by having a balanced diet, getting enough rest and sleep, and dealing with stress in healthy ways. However, there are many claims about the additional benefits that nootropics can offer. Factors like age will always affect cognitive and brain functioning. And there is very little that lifestyle changes can do in the case of such natural processes. Still, nootropics could provide some added benefit to the overall mental capabilities of a person. One must note that there have been reports of rare side effects such as a rise in blood pressure, heart palpitations, and an increase in impulsivity.
There have been multiple attempts to find a cognitive enhancer that can work without having negative effects on the body and mind. Medications that increase mental abilities and intelligence also tend to have either negligible or toxic side effects. But the task itself is difficult, as the human brain is a complex organ. Some ingredients can increase brain functioning. Yet the way to combine the effects of these ingredients in a way that can bring about the desired result is still not clear. The combined effect of these compounds is still being researched and studied.
There are individuals with mental health issues or a history of substance abuse who may be unable to make use of these medications as they might be affected by the negative side effects of using nootropics. This makes it more essential to consult professionals before using the medication. The brain can respond and change according to external and internal factors. And this provides new opportunities to understand and improve the functioning of the brain. Even psychotherapy has brought about differences in the brain that are structural. Thus, it is not unusual to expect medications in the future that can bring about positive cognitive changes.