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Re: Smart Smart Drugs...

Posted by kore on October 31, 1998, at 15:30:01

In reply to Smart Smart Drugs..., posted by Matt on October 29, 1998, at 14:39:00

> Dear Dr. Bob,
> Well, if you can't ask your doctor, who can you ask? And, I'm surpised to see that
> nobody has already asked: I have recently come across information on Smart Drugs and .
> what are being called Nootropics. I'm curious about trying some of these. Please understand,
> I feel great. I'm not unhappy or depressed, however, I am tempted by the thought of
> improving my over all sense of happiness and well being. Also, I am tempted by claims
> that I can enhance my cognitive abilities; memory, recall, cognition.
> I have two reservations. First, I am frightened by any unknown revalations about
> these substances that might occur as did during the Fen-Phen craze. Second, I'm also sceptical
> of marketing. For example, GNC pushes amino acid supplements to weight lifters by telling them
> that these compounds are necessary to build muscle. Well, as you and I both know, that's true.
> What they don't say is that an excess of amino acids are presant, they are excreted through the
> urine or even converted to and stored as fat!!
> One claim suggests that Dimethylaminoethylene (or some such drug) encourages the production
> of acytlcholine beyond the blood-brain barrier, and thus, somehow, improves your cognitive faculties.
> I would expect, however, that just as many drugs have nasty side-effects, some would have very
> beneficial side effects... even for a healthy person. As a doctor of Psycological medicine, I'm certain
> that not only have you been able to avoid this subject, but that you might very well understand the
> subjects myths and realities, and thus provide invaluable information and advice on the topic. I also
> realise that a professional would be tempted to push aside the subject by advising people to stay away
> from smart drugs all together; that is to say, "If it ain't broke, then don't fix it". On the other hand,
> if the potential for cognitive enhancement by phamacological means exists, why ignore the possibilities??
> I'd appreciate a reply.
> Sincerely, Matt.

the way the war on drugs- rather the war on some people who use some drugs- is going, any mention of enhancement sounds like "recreational use " & most doctors are going to be very wary. one strategy that some nootropic experts are pursuing is making "age-related mental decline" an actual condition (there are highly accurate mmemory tests available), so that prescribing is more acceptable. from what i've read, many of the drugs, such as piracetam
or lucidril, are so safe that they''ve been available over the counter for decades in some european countries, with no reported complaints. those who do have mood disorders,
neurological problems, etc. have also reported sometimes getting better results than with drugs from their u.s. doctors. it seems to me that if people are allowed to take the potentially letahl viagra, baldness drugs, or to "enhance" their bodies surgically, they should be allowed to enhance their brains. with a lot of education & research & supervision, which is unfortunately lacking now. (they also have protocols which have prevented a lot of the damage of down's syndrome- that's another raging debate).




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