How to improve brain function?
The topic of drugs to improve the brain is popular in Hollywood - from NZT tablets in the film "Areas of Darkness", through which the hero Bradley Cooper was able to increase his cognitive potential, ending with the hormone CPh4 from the action movie "Lucy", which turns the brain into a supercomputer.
Despite the fact that NZT and CPh4 are nothing more than fiction, similar in principle work drugs do exist( starting from glycine, ending with neurometabolic stimulants).However, none of them is capable of exerting such a powerful and instantaneous effect on the brain.
Tablet NZT from the movie "Areas of Darkness"
In the movie "Areas of Darkness" it is claimed that a person uses the brain potential only by 20%, whereas the NZT tablet allows to include 100% of the work. Unfortunately, scientific research refutes this - at each particular moment the human brain fully utilizes all its resources.
At the same time the brain can develop and literally become smarter - any learning process proves it. In addition, there are many substances that gradually worsen its work and adversely affect mental abilities - the most common is sugar.
Harm to the brain sugar
Doctors-nutritionists tend to believe that excessive consumption of sugar and simple carbohydrates harm brain activity. More and more research studies associate a sugar-rich diet with the development of attention deficit disorder and a decrease in the general level of intelligence in children and adolescents( 1).
The sugar in the glucose stimulates the brain excessively, provoking the production of large doses of pleasure hormones - the nervous system is gradually depleted, but the organism literally "sits" on the sweet, as a source of positive emotions and joy.
Drugs to improve brain function
When talking about drugs to improve brain function, it is important to note that they are all addictive. Receiving an incentive from the outside, the brain begins to "lazy" and demand ever larger doses to achieve the effect. That's why most of them are considered addictive and addictive.
A vivid example is nicotine - already 10 seconds after entering the body it provokes a release into the blood of adrenaline and dopamine, acting as a fairly strong stimulant. However, after a few minutes the level of these hormones falls, causing the person to again reach for the cigarette.
Analogue of tablets NZT
The closest to the fictional NZT tablets are preparations of the category of neurometabolic stimulants. The most popular is over-the-counter glycine - studies confirm that in high doses( 1-3 g) it is able to increase brain activity and improve memory( 2).
A special category is nootropics used to treat the aforementioned symptom of attention deficit and improve brain function in the literal sense of the word - they are available exclusively on prescription and are not intended for use by healthy people.
Serotonin and brain work improvement
Serotonin is the key hormone responsible not only for good mood, but also for the ability of the brain to process information in a certain way. A high serotonin level raises attention to detail, forcing a person to think more rationally and logically( 3).
Antidepressants are typical drugs for increasing serotonin levels; however, presumably, over-the-counter melatonin in tablets, 5HTP supplement and even a number of herbs( especially saffron and turmeric) are also capable of increasing serotonin levels and improving brain function.
The influence of meditation on the brain
Another important way to improve the brain is meditation, which is, in fact, a conscious ability to clear your mind of any thoughts. Scientific research shows that regular meditation affects the hypothalamus and increases the density of gray matter in the brain( 4).
During meditation the brain does not rest - it, on the contrary, actively works, but in a mode of the control over key processes of a body( for example, for breathing).Modern scientists tend to view meditation as a process of "restoring" the functions of the brain, stopping its aging.
Neurometabolic stimulants are an analog of NZT tablets to improve brain function, however, they are recommended only for specific diseases. Healthy people are encouraged to abandon bad habits( that is, from sugar, nicotine and caffeine) to stimulate the brain.
Scientific sources :
- Correlation between attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and sugar consumption, quality of diet, and dietary behavior in school children, source
- The cognitive effects of modulating the glycine site of the NMDA receptor with high-dose glycine in healthy controls,source
- Rationality and emotionality: serotonin transporter genotype influences reasoning bias, source
- Mindfulness practice leads to increases in the regional brain