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Nootropics - Do you take them? What are your thoughts on effectiveness?

I don't know to much about about it, seen some commercials for brain drugs, seemed like preworkout like supplement at best and bunk at worst.

Do you take them? How effective do you think they are? Even if you don't, what do you think about it? Should we take pills to make ourselves "better"? Would love to hear people who use it for work, but even if you use it for personal use please share your experience.

If you don't know what Nootropics is here is a motherboard video on it and esports

We need a Bio Hacking/Enhancing section @wendell (Or whoever deals with that @Eden?)

Sounds like more Terence Mckenna expand your mind woo to me...

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There are stims of all sorts... but they always have a side effect.

Then there are also placebos.

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Some people I know would take some "acquired" Adderall, chug a cup of strong coffee, and then take a 30 minute nap before long study sessions. Apparently they could study for hours on end without a break with that combo.

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This is more what I think of when talking about supplement enhancing.

I find it interesting how supplementation took off from working out to gaming to everyday use. Though I sometimes would take preworkout before playing a competive game... that was a year before they started selling re-branded preworkout as a "gamer" supplement. I knew I should have marketed it haha, now everyone and their mother has a re-branded preworkout "gamer fuel"

I am interested in how effective these new all in one pills are for memory and mental stimulation. I think its basically knock off adderall, to be used like @anon59440203 was talking about, basically not "enhancing" your mental capability but allowing you to focus more than usual on a project or what have you.

I can't currently look into this too much, or even watch the videos on the topic. However, I have a lot of experience in biology (have a degree in it), and thought that my two cents on the topic might be of some interest to those who are interested in the topic and in particular the biological aspects of this issue.

The biggest single issue with things of this nature is that they simply aren't studied enough for someone to give a solid recommendation because we simply don't know the long term effects. Think of it like this. If the thing that the drug is meant to help is really important (say HIV medication for instance), then the willingness of the users to overlook side effects, even hard to guess, uncommon ones, is fairly high, because the reward of the medication is high enough to offset those effects. But with things like this, more or less recreational uses, there isn't anything to really offset the possible negatives. So we can't say that even though we don't really know, you should use it anyway. The reward isn't worth the risk, because we don't know the possible effects.

On top of that, compounding the issue and expanding it some, is the funding aspect. Research into commercial products is really convoluted and often very shady. Think about it. Big corporations which stand to gain or lose tons of money have the motive to try to influence results. And at the same time, studies on people cost a lot of money because there are a lot of hoops to jump through and paying participants is not cheap and you need solid results for your study to be of use, meaning it needs to be fairly big. Who has the time or money for things like that? Big pharma. A lot of conflict of interests and whatnot go in to things like this. I've done a lot of research on a lot of various topics in biology (ranging from molecular mechanisms of intracellular trafficking to sex related defects), and let me tell you. The hardest topics to find real solid research on is medication that is being sold (not always, but very commonly). Once the pros are verified, the side effects and possible unknowns are often overlooked and like I said, things get convoluted. It is a real pain in the ass. Think of where money/politics meets science. The scientists don't end up happy in those situations.

And to make all of this worse, there is a lot to try to understand. Things involved with the brain are very intricate and we have a rather limited understanding of it all. Anyone who tells you otherwise is blow smoke out of their ass. The more you learn about these things, the more you realize how little we know about how things actually work. Let's just say that the innerworkings of the cell are very intricate and the brain most of all. So trying to understand how something affects your brain, not only how it does the intended effect, but how it would affect the rest of brain and how it could cause any side effects and other impacts on the body; it is really hard. It would take a long time and a lot of money to get real solid answers. And with things as nonessential as improving gaming and the like, the money and interest is not there to conduct these experiments and studies. A lot of work goes into understanding these things.

Think of this. Heroin used to be sold as a cough medication. Heroin. It helps coughs really well. I mean, it has some other effects too, but who cares about that? The way we can make money on it is as selling it as a cough medicine. Don't worry about what else it might do. Look, it helps coughs really well. Just don't pay any attention to anything else that it might do.

I'm not saying that there is any malice or anything involved with drugs like this, but you just have to be very cautious. Money clouds things. If they are interested in these numerous drugs as helping cognitive function, they likely are too fixated on that to notice other things that it might be causing. So until there is enough information out there to have a solid conclusion about it, I wouldn't personally recommend them. Though because there are so many, there are a lot of different trade offs and some might be more harmless than others. You have to look into them one by one and then in whatever combinations they might be used as well. The info simply isn't there to allow me to declare it safe for such nonessential needs.

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are there any drugs which decreases the time for which it takes a signal to travel across an axon or a drug which increases the amount of potential signal travels between synapses?(i know there's a physical limit for how many signals can travel between synapses, believe it has something to do with potassium though not sure since it's been years since i read the study on the effects of alcohol on nervous system). those two things seem like they would increase reflexes and also intelligence without any side effects assuming that's all the drug would do since all that is happening is signals are able to be transmitted faster between neurons and therefore processed in a more timely manner.

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You see, the way that signals travel through axons is actually limited by physics, not biology. Without going into too much detail, the axon is incredibly efficient in its design for transporting signals. As far as I know, there is no way to make signals move faster through them. Though iirc, they travel at several hundred miles per hour, so that wouldn't likely be a place to increase reflexes or anything. The delay comes from processing time. The pathways that the signal has to go through into your brain and out of your brain (or PNS) can be made more efficient with repeated use. Imagine trying to go through a forest with a lot of undergrowth. The first few times would be slow going, but the more you go through there, the less crap is in the way and eventually you get a trail. Same basic idea and that is how muscle memory works on a basic level. Reducing processing overhead is the biggest source of reflex improvement though. If you have to think about what you need to do consciously, then that takes a lot of time. The less you have to think about something, the faster you can do it. Imagine the first time you played a video game ever. You had to think about where the controls were, and what controls did what operations. The more experience you get though, the less you have to think about it. At some point, it is like second nature and the controls feel like an extension of yourself.

As for increasing the amount of stuff sent across synapses, that is how most medications and drugs that affect the brain work. The problem with that, and a large reason as to why a lot of people are hesitant to suggest using drugs like this, is really exemplified by addiction. Think of heroin. The way that it works is that it increases the amount of neurotransmitter (dopamine in this case) that is transmitted, increasing the feeling of pleasure which is associated with that neurotransmitter, hence the euphoria. The problem comes by the reduced sensitivity and thereby dependency. If your neurons are used to that increased (massively increased) amount of the neurotransmitter, then they will become less sensitive to help prevent overload and because there is no reason to maintain the parts of the cell responsible for picking up the signal as well since they aren't needed as much. So not only do you feel great while doing heroin, you feel terrible when you aren't doing it after you have started. That leads to the dependency. So taking a drug that increases the amount of neurotransmitter sent across a synapse can have dependency issues, making your body rely on that external source. That is the biggest (as far as I know) source of contention on this topic. We don't have long term studies to see if it could cause dependency issues (or any other problem, but dependency is most likely as far as I know).

Again though, I only know this stuff because of my education in biology. I don't have my knowledge of this topic in particular. And as I mentioned earlier, nootropic is not a single drug that I can try to learn the ins and outs of. It is a class of drug (more or less) with a lot of different effects and pathways, making it really hard to fully understand the topic. And I simply don't have the time to read up on any of them, let alone a whole bunch. I am fine with answering questions with the stuff that I do know though. Writing stuff up doesn't take me much time. It is reading the dozens of papers required to understand how drugs work (if those papers even exist in the first place) that I don't really want to do. I've had enough of that back in the bio classes.

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I wanna be like that! I am too lazy for anything at the moment.

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Some e-gamers got in trouble for taking adderall. I forgot what team it was and what punishment they got. But the gaming community was pretty mad when they found out there might be drug tests done on players. ( This might have been mentioned in the video. I did not watch it. :P )

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Uppers in egaming is an open secret. Everyone knows that everyone does it.

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