Of the 178 placebo-controlled human studies involving 7619 participants in the experimental group on 77 nootropics that we reviewed for our application, 13 nootropics had significant improvement in long-term memory in 26 placebo-controlled human studies with a total of 1620 participants in the group experimental. The substances used in pills may not be nootropics, but substitutes that could easily be harmful to health. Unlike prescription drugs that are clinically tested and regulated, there is no guarantee that these substances will be safe for you, either in the short term or in the long term. Prescription nootropics consist largely of stimulants, such as those in some ADHD medications.
Although they work well for many people with ADHD, they are not recommended for others who simply want to improve their concentration and attention. Many university students receive this type of drug illegally and, although they seem to help in the short term, there are serious risks. Side effects may include insomnia, blurred vision, high blood pressure, fast heart rate, circulation problems, and addiction. The point is then, that the use of nootropics could have some long-term benefits in a similar way.
There are other promising prescription drugs that may have performance-related effects on the brain. But at this point, they all seem to involve a roll of dice. You may have a brain impulse in the short term, but you could also end up damaging your brain (or some other aspect of your health) in the long term. Ampakines have also been found to cause headaches, drowsiness and nausea 21. Despite the long-term improvement of cortical neuronal potentiation with the use of ampacines, changing cortical neuronal plasticity in favor of long-term potentiation could lead to alterations in spatial memory and perhaps motor function.
22. Finally, because nootropics are often obtained through loosely regulated sources, such as online sellers, it is possible that other psychoactive compounds will replace the advertised nootropics. Simply put, no one knows for sure, since there are no conclusive comprehensive clinical studies to determine whether or not nootropics, prescription or supplements, have a long-term effect on the human brain. However, natural nootropics generally do not involve accumulation of tolerance; on the contrary, they can increase their positive effect when used daily for a long period of time. Healthcare providers in general, and specifically those in the fields of mental health and substance abuse, should note that the use of nootropics is an under-recognized and evolving problem.
But it's certainly an interesting way to look at nootropics, and one that may suggest an alternative way to use them in the future. Young adults, especially those with a history of mental health or substance use disorders, may be at particular risk of adverse effects from nootropic use and should be informed of the potential harm of nootropic misuse. In addition, a study by experts from the Manipal Academy on the use of cognitive enhancers in healthy people found a shortage of literature to confirm the safety of nootropics in the long term. Simply put, nootropics work together with neurotransmitters to improve higher faculties such as memory, stress adaptation and concentration.
There is also a temporal correlation between initiation of nootropic use and reported psychiatric exacerbations. It is true that measuring the long-term benefits of nootropics is more difficult than measuring the short-term benefits of nootropics, due to time constraints in clinical research. Suffice it to say that long-term use of nootropics can (in my opinion and experience) confer benefits far above and beyond the non-negligible benefits that come from intermittent use of noop. Stimulants, including caffeine and prescription smart pills, don't qualify as true nootropics, because of their risky abuse.
A major limitation is the inability to definitively determine the actual composition of nootropics, dosage and frequency of use. .