What is on the Horizon for Next-Generation Nootropics?
Let’s Talk About the Latest Nootropic Research
One interesting area with a promising new body of research is brain plasticity. Emerging nootropics such as Ciltep and lion’s mane are proving effective at stimulating brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and encouraging long term potentiation (the formation of new neural connections).
This is the clear future versus just using supplements with active ingredients that mostly make us more awake. This could potentially have more exciting long term effects on cognition and learning, but a lot more research will need to be done (which is, in all fairness, true of all nootropics).
How Do You Ensure that Increased Plasticity Doesn’t Lead to the Introduction of Bad Habits?
Another interesting direction for nootropics to take is to focus on more personalized solutions. This may be based on known mutations – wherein genetic testing could identify that you have low levels of certain neurotransmitters and then recommend an ideal supplementation cocktail to help your brain specifically.
This may focus on gene expression and help account for ‘non-responders’ who have felt no benefit from the smart drugs currently available. This is something that researchers are already perfecting, but it promises to come with a price tag that covers the sophisticated testing necessary to dial in your perfect formula.
This has other science-fiction concerns, though – if science allows us all to bring our neurotransmitters up to roughly identical levels, are we reducing individuality? Still, this could hold huge benefit for someone who perhaps doesn’t have enough serotonin or who has the unfortunate MTHFR gene defect.
Where is the Latest Nootropic Research Moving Fastest?
One company that seems to be moving in exciting new directions is Modern Alkame, which has developed tools for recommending nootropic stacks based on the goals and budget of the individual and then helping them measure and self-report the results using heart rate data, and other metrics that zero in on real brain success.
If nothing else, this will hopefully allow us to test whether budding nootropics like Ciltep do sustain the performance edge we are reading about (because the jury is out, somewhat).
The company contacted us and is going to let our team have a play with their testing software, so this will help us deliver some reviews backed up by hard data over the next few months. Actual data and evidence is something that the industry badly needs, especially when it’s so hard for us to distinguish between placebo and actual results.
The people behind Modern Alkame have a background in recommending personalized nootropic stacks to financial markets traders and C-level business executives, so it’s an exciting time to monitor their discoveries.
Then there are the interesting developments in TDCS (Transcranial direct current stimulation) and the companies creating headsets that electrically stimulate your motor cortex while you exercise in the gym, or those that stimulate other brain regions while you play computer games.
The fact that these products are commercially available is pretty incredible to me, but again, it’s an area we need to approach with caution, because there are certainly some potential concerns here. What we don’t need is more marketing hype.
Are We Headed for Safe Drugs That Can Replace Dangerous Steroids?
Though some have made the comparison between cognitive enhancers and athletic steroids, plenty others argue that nootropics are more akin to mental preparation than cheating since they don’t grant the user any knowledge or skill they didn’t have already.
In the future, some speculate that nootropics and other types of smart drugs will become mainstream. But others worry about a world where brain enhancement becomes
Such ethical dilemmas that might lie ahead if we experience ‘mainstream nootropics’ include:
Would those unable or afford smart drugs and brain supplements fall further behind groups that already hold extraordinary wealth?
If nootropics are banned in one country, could that nation then lose their edge in a competitive global economy?
Will nootropics lead to a world that prioritizes functionality ability all else, creating a dependency (addiction even?) on cognitive enhancement?
At this point, it’s impossible to know what the future holds, and only time and more testing will tell. This is just an overview of the smart drug research that is evolving – there’s lots that we don’t even know about.
Those brave enough to do so may remain incredibly well-focused enablers of the (sometimes problematic) $32 billion supplement industry, or find themselves frontrunners of a hyper-intelligence wave that changes the world.
We at Nootroic are fully onboard.