Nootropics

There are many reasons as to why people take what is commonly referred to as “brain pills”. Some people want to improve their focus on a particular task, while others may want to improve their memory and information retention capabilities. Many people opt for brain pills before an event that requires their mind to be sharp and completely focused such as examinations or business meetings. What are Nootropics? Nootropics are a type of brain pills. They are also popularly known as smart drugs, cognitive enhancers or memory enhancers. These substances are meant to improve the mental performance of the user. Nootropics can contain a variety of drugs which are used for treating a range of medical conditions that can affect the performance of the mind. Some medical conditions where these drugs are used in treatments include dementia, schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s disease, epilepsy, ageing, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and stroke. Some nootropics use natural substances instead of synthetically manufactured chemicals. Commonly used natural substances include extracts from walnuts, ginger, fish oil, coffee and other caffeine stimulants. Usually, nootropics are distributed as a type of dietary supplement which can improve the mental performance of a healthy person. Are Nootropics Safe? It is important to exercise caution while using nootropic supplements. These supplements are not regulated by any authoritative body. Therefore, it is possible that the supplements will not provide the benefits advertised. Some studies have shown that nootropics have only a marginal effect on mental performance, brain function and memory. At the same time, it is possible to for nootropics to cause side effects in the user. Common Side Effects of Nootropics Usage of no tropics can lead to a number of side effects. It is crucial to stop using the supplements as soon as these side effects begin to show themselves to prevent further harm. Headaches The most common side effect of using nootropic supplements is headaches. Certain nootropics can cause the brain to work harder. The brain begins to require a larger quantity of Acetylcholine which the body is unable to produce. Due to the increased demand, the receptor sites of Acetylcholine begin to burn out. This results in headaches. It is possible to use a good source of choline to the supplement routine in order to eliminate the headaches. GI Tract Issues Excessive usage of nootropic supplements can create pressure on the intestinal system of the body due to the excess nootropic drugs. The body considers the excess drugs to be a threat and will remove the excessive material. However, the removal results in a number of problems in the GI tract and stomach. Common symptoms include diarrhea, pain...

Read More
How Antidepressants Can Change the Brain
Jul30

How Antidepressants Can Change the Brain

According to a recent study conducted by the Mayo Clinic, thirteen percent of all Americans take antidepressant drugs. Depression is a common, serious illness that can happen to anyone, at any age. It can come about through hormonal changes or life events. Many people suffering from depression do not seek medical help. An antidepressant prescription is only one of many ways to treat depression, and often part of a treatment plan that also involves therapy. Symptoms of depression include fatigue, persistent sadness or anxiety, insomnia, and feelings of guilt or hopelessness, among many others. If a person experiences depression symptoms, they should consult their doctor. Untreated depression can lead to many problems, including alcoholism, drug abuse, and suicide. How Antidepressants Work There are a few different kinds of antidepressants, but they all claim to work by affecting neurotransmitters in the brain. WebMD explains that these chemicals pass signals from cell to cell in the brain. Serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine are all examples. Antidepressants are thought to affect the way neurotransmitters behave. Unfortunately, these drugs have also been found to change the brain of the patient. A recent study has shown that these antidepressant drugs can start changing the brain very quickly, within hours, and only after one dose. As reported in Time Magazine, the study took brain scans of 22 people, and some of them were administered an antidepressant drug while the others were given a placebo. Three hours later, another brain scan confirmed changes had been made to the brain to the group taking the antidepressant. It is believed that by balancing the neurotransmitters in the brain that affect mood and emotions, antidepressants can help a person overcome their depression. There are many unfortunate side effects of these medications, one of the most serious of which is heart and lung conditions in newborn babies born to mothers who took certain medications during pregnancy, leading to the FDA issuing a safety announcement. Another dangerous side effect is termed “suicidal ideation.” As the depression could be the result of a life situation, such as divorce or the death of a loved one, the drug may reduce the impact of the loss, but may have a “numbing” effect. Sadly, no drug can target just one life situation, and with emotional responses numbed, a person may tend to more easily consider ideas such as suicide. Any person considering taking depression medication should get help. Minor cases of depression are treated differently in the UK than in the USA, with treatments focused on exercise, connecting with other people, eating a healthy diet and other actions. Unfortunately, the claims regarding a drug resolving a...

Read More
Pfizer’s Xalkori: A New Mesothelioma Treatment?
Dec19

Pfizer’s Xalkori: A New Mesothelioma Treatment?

A new treatment option for asbestos victims suffering from pleural mesothelioma, might be around the corner, in the form of a new drug (by Pfizer) called Xalkori. In 2011, the FDA approved the use of Xalkori (which goes by the generic name of crizotinib) to treat people suffering from late-stage, non-small cell lung cancers. Xalkori is a treatment option if these people also have the gene known as the abnormal anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) gene. Those with the ALK gene are most receptive to treatment with Xalkori (and incidentally, least responsive to traditional treatments). Now, researchers are working to determine whether the ALK gene is also present in some patients with pleural mesothelioma. If so, Xalkori could be the new drug of choice for these patients.   What is Pleural Mesothelioma? Mesothelioma is a long name for a form of cancer that is caused by exposure to asbestos. Mesothelioma affects the membranes (mesothelial cells) surrounding the internal organs. The most common form of this rare, and so far incurable, cancer is pleural mesothelioma. Pleural mesothelioma affects the membranes around the lungs, and accounts for about 75% of asbestos-related cancers.   Cause and Symptoms of Pleural Mesothelioma The disease is caused by repeated on-the-job exposure to asbestos fibers in the air. The asbestos is inhaled and the fibers lodge in the pleural membrane (the membrane surrounding the lungs). Over time, the fibers can cause chronic inflammation and scarring. Occasionally the fibers also cause genetic changes in the cells, which can result in cancerous tumors (pleural mesothelioma). This is a deadly form of cancer. The average life expectancy of a patient diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma is only four to eighteen months.   Part of the difficulty in battling the disease is that many of the symptoms of pleural mesothelioma are not apparent until the cancer is in a later stage (stage III or IV). At this point in the disease’s progression, the tumors and thickening of the membrane around the lungs causes pressure on the lungs. Due to this lung constriction, a patient in this stage of mesothelioma might experience a persistent dry or raspy cough, shortness of breath, severe chest pain, or trouble breathing.   Pleural Mesothelioma Treatment Historically, upon diagnoses of pleural mesothelioma, doctors have used chemotherapy and radiation treatments to delay the progression of the cancer. Now it’s hoped that Xalkori might offer a better treatment option, with fewer side effects. To determine whether Xalkori might be beneficial to a patient, doctors first need to identify whether the patient has the abnormal ALK gene. If a genetic test shows the patient has the ALK gene, he or she can be...

Read More
Real Life Zombies: Bath Salt Injuries
Aug25

Real Life Zombies: Bath Salt Injuries

“Bath Salts” is the street-name for a category of drugs so dangerous, they can literally cause cannibalistic attacks. The most notorious case was the face-eating cannibal attack. This happened May 26th, 2012 when a homeless man, under the influence of bath salts, attacked another homeless man and gnawed on his face, exposing bone, all the way down to his goatee. It took four police bullets to stop the atrocious attack. Although this may sound like a scene from a zombie movie, this bizarre incident was not singular. A string of related attacks continued, along with numerous emergency room visits. And, the most terrifying part is that these substances are even more accessible than cigarettes or alcohol. Pharmacology The chemical composition of these synthetic drugs is not exactly known. There are many different types of derivatives made by illegal “street-chemists.” They are also referred to as Purple Wave,Vanilla Wave,Bliss, Disco, Cloud 9, among others. They typically contain a cathinone, typically methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV), methylone or mephedrone. Because the chemical composition varies widely, the precise effects they have on the brain are not clearly known. According to Narconon, even drug tests may not determine that bath salts were involved in a serious adverse effect since the newest tests only detect fourteen common chemicals used in these formulas. There are more than eighty chemicals that might be included.The one thing that is certain is that they clearly have nothing to do with taking a bath. Effects Bath salts can be snorted, injected, smoked, and/or dissolved into food or drink. These powerful drugs cause fits, hallucination, and most notably aggression. They may also cause suicidal thoughts or attempts, as well as psychotic delusions. They are also very harmful physically, and there have been many deaths and injuries caused by using bath salts. Some of the physical symptoms include rapid heart rate, high blood pressure, agitation, liver and kidney failure, seizures, heart attack, severe fever, and brain swelling. Are Bath Salts Illegal? Bath salts were readily available at convenience stores, head-shops, and online. Many states have made efforts to stave off the wave of emergency room visits and violent attacks by making them illegal in many states. However, since the chemical composition varies so much, it is very difficult to regulate. ‘Street-chemists’ are able to continually change the molecular composition so that it remains undetected. Many of the known ingredients in bath salts are now illegal. Users and Addiction Anyone can get their hands on bath salts quite easily. At about $20 a packet, they are not only affordable, but easily available in small packets at most gas stations. This new trend might stem from...

Read More