Tech & Science Drugs Nootropics are drugs, supplements and other substances believed to enhance brain power. There are nootropics designed to boost memory, concentration, motivation and even happiness. The term encompasses a number of substances, both natural and synthesised, over the counter and prescription, legal and illegal. The common kitchen spice turmeric can be a nootropic, but so can Ritalin and even LSD. The word nootropics is a portmanteau of the Greek words nous (“mind”) and trepein (“to bend or turn”). It was coined in 1972 by Romanian scientist Corneliu Giurgea, who invented Piracetam, an early cognition-enhancing drug said to improve memory and learning. Giurgea was clear about the radical potential of nootropics: “Man will not wait passively for millions of years before evolution offers him a better brain.” The thought of bypassing natural brain chemistry to suppress unwanted feelings and enhance creativity, memory and other brain functions, has long been the stuff of science fiction, from Brave New World to Flowers for Algernon to the 2011 Bradley Cooper movie Limitless. It’s growing appeal is understandable as regulations around cannabis loosen and options for optimizing our minds and bodies for peak performance grow. A 2017 International Journal of Drug Policy… Read full this story
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