LEARN HOW NOOTROPICS WORK
TO FULLY UNDERSTAND HOW NOOTROPICS WORK YOU MUST FIRST UNDERSTAND NEUROTRANSMITTERS AND HOW THEY WORK. NEUROTRANSMITTERS WORK ON RECEPTORS IN THE BRAIN. THESE NEUROTRANSMITTERS TRIGGER MILLIONS OF SYNAPSES AT RECEPTORS WHICH RESULT IN MANY DIFFERENT BRAIN FUNCTIONS. NOOTROPICS WORK ON GROUPS OF NEUROTRANSMITTERS THAT RELATE SPECIFICALLY TO COGNITIVE FUNCTION. THE BRAIN IS VERY COMPLICATED AND UNDERSTANDING EXACTLY HOW NOOTROPICS WORK IS TRICKY. THERE ARE ALSO MANY DIFFERENT TYPES OF NOOTROPICS WHICH HAVE DIFFERING EFFECTS THAN ONE ANOTHER. GENERALLY, NOOTROPICS WORK ON SIMILAR GROUPS OF NEUROTRANSMITTERS AND RECEPTORS HOWEVER THE ACTIONS CAN VARY SLIGHTLY WHICH CAN RESULT IN DIFFERENT EFFECTS.
When one thinks nootropics, racetams usually get brought up in the conversation. There are dozens of racetams in the family however only several have been studied enough to be considered safe. The first racetam was piracetam, which has been studied in medical science for decades. From piracetam, other analogues were designed that became more potent and bioavailable. Some racetams are water soluble and others are fat soluble which can influence how they are absorbed. Racetams work on the Acetylcholine neurotransmitter. Actually, they do not influence the levels of Acetylcholine but instead influence activity at the receptors. Racetams stimulate the acetylcholine receptors to uptake more acetylcholine by encouraging a synapse. Acetylcholine itself is a potent nootropic neurotransmitter that is already very abundant in the body. Having high levels of acetylcholine activity has been linked to high cognition such as; learning, memory, focus and sensory perception and this is the main way racetams work. Often when racetams are taken they are stacked with an acetylcholine source such as choline. The goal of this is to increase the amount of available acetylcholine for the racetams to use. This is a very complicated equation because consuming choline may not necessarily lead to higher levels of acetylcholine even though it is a direct precursor. More advanced choline sources such as CDP Choline and Alpha GPC are much better at turning into acetylcholine.
OTHER NOOTROPIC NEUROTRANSMITTERS
There are many other nootropic neurotransmitters other than acetylcholine. The catecholamines such as, serotonin and dopamine are also partially nootropic. Many nootropics use catecholamines as a method of action. One problem with the catecholamine based nootropics is that they can build up tolerance very fast and be addictive. Modafinil for instance, involves catecholamine and it is a very popular drug used off label as a nootropic substance. The other very popular nootropic neurotransmitter is glutamate. Action at the AMPA and NDMA glutamate receptors is involved in cognitive function. This may be even more so than acetylcholine and this is a definite area of interest in the cognitive field of medicine. This group of new experimental nootropics is known as the ampakines. One issue with ampakines is that they may promote possible excitoxicity and this is being studied currently. For this reason, ampakines should not be taken yet. It is being debated that some of the newer ampakines have little to no excitoxicity however it is best to stick to well studies nootropics like the racetams which also work on AMPA and NDMA glutamate receptors selectively.
This was a guest post by Kal, owner and manager of http://www.PeakNootropics.com. Visit their blog to learn about nootropics or if you are a customer in the US visit their store to purchase nootropic powders