Synthetic Cognitive Enhancers: Some Pros & Cons:
First, there are the synthetic cognitive enhancers. This is a short list of some of the more popular drugs that fall into the category of synthetic cognitive enhancers:
These types of synthetic compounds have been used to treat a number of cognitive disorders as well as to alleviate the symptoms of some sub-clinical level disorders. Often times, these drugs are used recreationally for their potential performance enhancing effects during mentally taxing work such as studying. For those of you who have never experienced some of the effects of these drugs, you should consider the following subjectively reported benefits of the popular ADHD drug Concerta:
I was prescribed 18mg of Concerta. I tried it for about a month, and noticed significant results. I am able to focus on tasks, stay organized, and I am able to process what people were saying to me. I have received a lot of positive remarks on my job performance, and am being considered for a position that a year ago, would not have even been a possibility.
The above is a good example as it hits on many common themes reported from users of synthetic cognitive enhancers. While some of the effects, such as an increase in energy and a loss of appetite, are specific to stimulant based cognitive enhancers, many of the other benefits, such as focus and the ability to concentrate, are central to most cognitive enhancers.
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What Does The Study Show About Brain Function And Exercise
This was a controlled study, meaning that it was controlled for both physical gender and intelligence. Aspects of the study pertain to participation in physical activities or in cognitive functions. Leaders of the study found that there was a slower time for reaction among the older subjects when compared with the younger ones. The younger subjects also had a faster, better, reaction time pertaining to their purchase a patient in physical activity.
In both older and younger test subjects, those who were physically active on a regular basis showed better physical performance and cognitive function in both reaction time. It is important to note, however, that Hillman found no positive correlation between response accuracy and regular physical exercise among the group of younger participants. This is not the first study to show such results.
Clinical Trials On Exercise For Cognitive Health
Volunteers are needed for clinical trials that are testing different forms of exercise for cognitive health. By joining one of these studies, you may learn new ways to be physically active and also contribute useful information to help other older adults in the future! To learn more, visit the Alzheimers.gov Clinical Trials Finder to search for a trial in your area.
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Get Smart See Your Doctor Regularly
The brain is an amazing organ. But to help it achieve peak performance, you dont need to fancy tools or supplements or equipment. The smartest way to help your brain stay healthy and high performing is by regularly seeing your primary care provider. A healthy body leads to a healthy mind. With more than 300 primary providers at more than 50 convenient locations, its easy to find a UPMC Pinnacle primary care provider near you. to UPMCPinnacle.com/PrimaryLocations to find the location closest to you.
Get The Blood Flowing With Whole Grains And Fruits
The brain depends on blood flow. A diet high in whole grains and fruits like avocados can lower bad cholesterol. This enhances blood flow, offering a simple, tasty way to get your brain cells firing. Whole grains, like popcorn and whole wheat, also contribute dietary fiber and vitamin E. And the fat in avocados is monounsaturated which helps with healthy blood flow.
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The Top 9 Brain Foods For Studying And Exams
When youre a student trying to memorize and understand a lot of new information, its important to keep your health in top shape. Staying healthy can promote academic performance and help you reach your educational goals.
Although an overall healthy diet is most important for keeping your body and brain nourished and ready to take on difficult tasks, research shows that certain foods may be especially important for brain health and promoting mental performance.
The following foods have been linked to improved brain health and make excellent choices when youre cramming for an exam.
Here are the top 9 brain foods for studying.
Natural Ways To Improve Your Memory
Everyone has moments of forgetfulness from time to time, especially when life gets busy.
While this can be a completely normal occurrence, having a poor memory can be frustrating.
Genetics plays a role in memory loss, especially in serious neurological conditions like Alzheimers disease. However, research has shown that diet and lifestyle have a major impact on memory too.
Here are 14 evidence-based ways to improve your memory naturally.
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So Which Nootropics Gives The Best Memory Results
As I already expose above, there are many nootropics available that work great for improving memory. But what is the best way to make use of these supplements? If you only choose to use one, you want to choose Oxiracetam or Aniracetam.
Both of these are excellent memory enhancers. You should also remember to supplement the racetam you choose with other nootropics like choline. Choline is found in Alpha GPC and is also found in Huperzine A, Vinpocetine, and L-Theanine.
It can be inconvenient to buy these herbal compounds separately. This is one reason you should look for brain stack products like Nootrogenix. It gives you all these ingredients together with some additional herbal supplements for memory enhancement.
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The Brain Is Central To Everything:
The brain is the primary controller of everything in your body, and while there are other brains in your body , the one in your head is the master regulator. Because of this, there is an interplay between your brain receiving information from the other parts of your body and then sending signals based on that feedback.
One great example is your pituitary gland, which controls almost all of the hormones in your body based on the signals your brain receives about its internal and external environment.
When stress and inflammation are high in the body, the pituitary gets these signals and naturally lowers production of the hormones involved in growth and maintenance, in order to direct more energy towards surviving and overcoming the immediate threat. Proper pituitary function is critical for health, but this involves reduction of stress and inflammation so that it gets the appropriate signals.
In addition, the pineal gland is also critical for controlling states of consciousness that allow your body and mind to work together to allow you to experience the world in a certain way. For example, the pineal gland produces the melatonin that regulates your bodys circadian rhythm and sleep patterns.
Supplements For Brain Function
In addition to making dietary changes, some people consider taking supplements to improve their brain function. But do these supplements actually work?
Taking vitamins B, C, or E, beta-carotene, or magnesium may improve brain function if a person has a deficiency in any of them. If a person does not have a deficiency, these supplements are unlikely to improve mental performance.
Easy Tips For Maintaining Memory Function
Your brain is a powerful tool, and it has an amazing ability to adapt and change, regardless of your age. This ability to adapt is known as neuroplasticity. Harnessing this natural process increases your cognitive skills, and improves both your memory and learning abilities.
Sleep helps your memory open up new pathways. Getting enough sleep helps these pathways work at an optimal performance level.
Many older people who reported having a lousy memory started exercising regularly. After a short time, they found improvement in their cognitive ability.
According to a Harvard research study, people who had active social lives encountered the slowest rate of memory decline.
Not sure what to laugh about? Try laughing at yourself by not taking life so seriously. Find people who are fun and hang out with them. Watch your favorite comedy and let the giggles flow.
One of the worst enemies for your brain is stress. High levels of stress can actually destroy brain cells. It also damages an area of the brain called the hippocampus, where new memories develop and old ones are retrieved.
Manage High Blood Pressure
Preventing or controlling high blood pressure, not only helps your heart, but may help your brain too. Decades of observational studies have shown that having high blood pressure in midlife the 40s to early 60s increases the risk of cognitive decline later in life. In addition, the SPRINT-MIND study, a nationwide clinical trial, showed that intensive lowering of blood pressure lowers the risk for mild cognitive impairment, which is a risk factor for dementia.
High blood pressure often does not cause signs of illness that you can see or feel. Routine visits to your doctor will help pick up changes in your blood pressure, even though you might feel fine. To control or lower high blood pressure, your doctor may suggest exercise, changes in your diet, and if needed medications. These steps can help protect your brain and your heart.
How To Sharpen Your Brain
1. Challenge Your Brain with Mental Exercises.
One of the main ways to sharpen your mind is by doing mental exercises. This stimulates your brain cells, causing them to communicate with one another.
Solving the Rubik’s cube can be an excellent cognitive exercise. You could also learn a new hobby or foreign language. Learning new skills, mentoring others and volunteering are some other ways to challenge your brain.
2. Repeat Information
When trying to recall something you’ve just read or heard, repeat the information out loud as well as write it down. This helps to reinforce the new facts in your memory. However, don’t just repeat the information several times and then not review it later. Instead, plan to go over it again shortly.
In other words: space it out. Review your new information every few hours throughout the day, every day, until it becomes embedded in your mind. When you space out periods of study, you’re helping to improve your memory. Thus, repetition works best when it’s timed correctly.
3. Read More Books
People who read a lot of books are better at recalling information than non-readers. That’s why you should read more books and publications on a wide variety of subjects.
Rather than wasting hours vegging out in front of a TV or texting on your phone, check out books to read at your public library. You can also find a vast array of books on virtually any topic from eBooks.
4. Engage More with People in Challenging Games
5. Make Schedules
6. Get Quality Sleep
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Stock Up On Your Vitamins And Micronutrients
Specific vitamins and nutrients can boost brain power in various ways. While zinc and iodine can contribute to normal brain cognition, vitamin B6, B12 and folate can help to prevent fatigue, a major cause of procrastination during studies. Omega-3 and one of its essential fatty acids, DHA , can help the brain to function correctly a vital part of learning making them important nutrients to include in your daily diet.
You can boost brain power with vitamins and micronutrients by eating the following foods:
- Zinc meat, fish, legumes, mushrooms, spinach, broccoli, garlic, nuts and seeds, cereals and dairy
- Iodine cod, seaweed, turkey, yoghurt, tuna, eggs, strawberries
- Vitamin B6 pork, chicken, turkey, fish, bread, eggs, vegetables, peanuts, milk and cereals
- Vitamin B12 meat, fish, dairy and cereals
- Omega-3 fish, nuts, seeds and egg yolks
While adding each of these vitamins to your daily diet may seem overwhelming, there are plenty of nutritional supplements that can help you achieve this. The benefits of adding these vitamins and micronutrients can take several weeks to show, so try to begin adding them in as soon as possible.
Repairing Damage From Substance Abuse
One of the most common schools of thought regarding drug users and ex-addicts was that the damage they have done to their brains is irreversible.
Now, research is showing that recovering addicts and others are having success fixing damage done to their brains with neurogenesis. Some report success with correcting emotional problems, others report cognitive deficits disappearing.
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Ive Been At This For A While
Some compounds are absolutely inappropriate for daily use. When deciding which compounds to use, you first have to decide if you are going to be using them to boost your performance over the long term to increase work output, or to enhance performance for a short term, event based project. For example if you have a deadline coming up such as a very important piece of content, code, or editing to do and you have a specific timeline it needs to be completed in, it may be appropriate to use synthetic or more crude cognitive enhancers . If you are looking to improve your ability to do the above mentioned tasks over the course of X number of weeks, months, or years, you certainly are going to want to look at some natural alternatives that you respond well to.
I can tell you from experience, that any time I attempted to use a stronger synthetic compound over an extended period of time, I ran into serious trouble with allergies, side effects, or mood swings. After months, and in some cases years, of going back and forth, I settled on the fact that I could not take synthetic compounds over an extended period of time.
Draw A Map Of Your Town From Memory
While you might feel like you can navigate the streets of your neighborhood with your eyes closed, try challenging your brain by actually drawing a map of your town or neighborhood from memory. No cheating! Try to include major streets, major side streets, and local landmarks.
Once you are done, compare your memory map to a real map of the area. How did you do? Are you surprised by some of the things that you missed? If you found this activity too easy, try drawing a less familiar area from memory, such as a map of the entire United States or Europe, and try to label every state or country.
Navigating your way to the supermarket or doctor’s office might seem simple and almost automatic when you are behind the wheel of your car. However, forcing yourself to remember the layout of your neighborhood as well as draw and label it helps activate a variety of areas of your brain.
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Strategies To Improve Executive Functions Of The Brain
by TeachThought Staff
What are the executive functions of the brain, and what can you do as an educator to support their development in students?
Thats what the graphic below from understood.org seeks to answer. According to Harvard, Executive function and self-regulation skills are the mental processes that enable us to plan, focus attention, remember instructions, and juggle multiple tasks successfully. Just as an air traffic control system at a busy airport safely manages the arrivals and departures of many aircraft on multiple runways, the brain needs this skill set to filter distractions, prioritize tasks, set and achieve goals, and control impulses.
Put simply, these are higher-order thinking patterns and skills that allow students to live.
So what can be done to promote their developmentand in a way that doesnt require you to turn from teacher to lab-coated neuroscientist? Below are some ideas to get started.
How Food Affects Your Memory
How many times have you heard, you are what you eat? If you eat lots of greasy or sugary foods it eventually shows up as fat and you gain weight. When it comes to your memory, the foods you eat play an important factor in how your memory functions.
I remember my mother telling me to eat all my veggies so I would do well in school. Did your mom tell you that too? Well, they were right!
Eating an adequate amount of vegetables will help improve your memory. The best ones to eat are those dark, leafy green ones such as kale, broccoli, cabbage, spinach, and collard greens.
If you arent a fan, try eating them in your salad or pop them into your green smoothie. I love blending 2 cups of greens, 1 banana, 1/2 C. Frozen berries and about 1 cup of water so its not too thick. Add some spirulina and protein powder and youve got a tasty smoothie filled with brain-boosting power.
In addition to green veggies, youll want to increase the number of berries in your diet. Fruits such as blackberries, blueberries, and cherries contain something called anthocyanins .
Omega 3 fatty acids also impact your brain and memory. These fatty acids contain DHA , which has been shown to improve memory, especially in young adults.
The higher your levels are of this fatty acid the more efficiently your brain will function.
Weve recently added a little more celery to our diet. It contains luteolin which reduces inflammation in your brain and helps reduce memory loss related to the aging process.
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