Eddie Morra (Bradley Cooper) is an aspiring writer who suffers a chronic blockade when writing his books and has also recently ended a romantic relationship with his girlfriend Lindy (Abbie Cornish). However his life takes an unexpected turn when his former brother-in-law Vernon Gant (Johnny Whitworth) discloses NZT, a revolutionary drug that will allow him to harness his full cognitive potential.
How many times have you dreamed of taking a pill that will allow you to pass the exam with the best grade without studying, conquer your platonic love with just one glance, get the job that will take you to the top of success or become the greatest sportsman of all time?
In the end, we wake up and notice that these pills only exist in dreams or in movies, but do not be discouraged because, precisely that film, that of the superpowered pill, is released today.
Bradley Cooper, the actor who put his name on the map with the film “The Hangover”, returns to the big screen as the protagonist in the film “Limitless“. There he plays an aspiring writer named Eddie Morra who is going through a severe blockade of creativity. One day he meets an old friend who offers him a magic pill called NZT, with which all his problems will disappear because it will allow him to make the most of his potential in all aspects of his life.
By taking the pill, Eddie can remember everything he ever read, saw or heard, learn any language in a day, understand complex equations, and seduce everyone he knows, of course, as long as he continues to consume the unsired drug for sale. But over time the cost is known and that’s where the problem begins.
Questioned about what he would do if there really was an NTZ-like drug, Cooper responded during a meeting with the press that he would try to learn all the languages. “I would also learn to play as many instruments as possible. Then I don’t know, but I’d probably try to get money so I could hang around spending it. But it would be amazing to be able to start playing with all these amazing musicians and speaking languages, you know, communicating with people wherever I am. I’d still be an actor, and a director would probably start to face my fears because what I really want to do is direct movies, I just haven’t done it yet,” Cooper said.
“Limitless” speaks of the meaning of power and everything we can do with it, how to use power over people, and above all what happens when it is abused. But it’s also a pill that stimulates, something that could be read as a drug that makes your comsumdor a super hero.
The film’s director, Neil Burger, is aware of it. “In fact we almost ran a marketing campaign where we had Michael Jordan or Barack Obama saying ‘Powered by N.Z.T.’, but we didn’t.”
“Anyway I think it’s a warning story. Obviously there are appalling side effects on drug use. There are people who kill for them… but for me the subject of this film has more to do with power than drugs and about this person trying to get more power.”
And it is this image of power that niro’s actor Robert portrays when playing tycoon Carl Van Loon, a mega figure on Wall Street who invites Eddie to participate in the largest merger in the history of big corporations.
Questioned about what makes him happy, De Niro replied: “I have many things that make me happy, another not so much. I’ve got good and bad. I have children, I have a family. I’ve got a lot of stuff. One day I’m happy with some of these things, another day I don’t… but actually, I can’t complain.”
DISCLAIMER: From now on, I want to make it clear that I am not a doctor or a professional trained to advise others on medication or food. I’m just sharing my personal experience with this topic. That’s why if you’re reading this post, it’s your complete responsibility to consult your doctor and do your own research if you decide to take action based on what you interpret from this information that I’m going to share, which I repeat, is my personal experience and nothing else.
LET’S START WITH WHAT NOOTROPICS ARE:
According to Wikipedia, and referencing the Dorlands Medical Dictionary, nootropics, also known as smart drugs, memory stimulants and cognitive enhancers, are supplements, nutraceuticals or functional foods that elevate certain human mental functions (i.e. brain functions and capabilities) such as cognition, memory, intelligence, creativity, motivation, attention and concentration.
In my case, I discovered the nootropics thanks to my partner, who was always interested in cognitive enhancers and in elevating mental functions to achieve new levels of consciousness.
I didn’t pay much attention to it, until I saw the film Limitless or Limitless with Bradley Cooper, where the actor takes a supplement that makes it mega smart. Call me sonsa, but there I thought, “If there are cognitive enhancers, which make the brain “work” better, why not try to see what’s cool?”
And that’s how I started, trying one of the best-known nootropics, Modafinil.
Modafinil or Modafinil is a neurostimulant that promotes alertness, that is, it helps you stay focused and awake. From what I read, it’s usually taken by programmers and people who work night shifts, who have sleep disorders. In my case, I took it to study and finish very technical projects, which required a lot of concentration on my part.
At first, since I didn’t know what dose I was going to take, I started taking 1 whole pill, which is a lot. I remember that the first time I took Modafinil, I was able to do a full SEO (search engine optimization) course in a single day. Not only that, but I understood everything. I was on fire, I wanted to keep learning.
Then, I met Phenibut, it is a supplement derived from the inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA. When Phenibut comes into contact with the central nervous system, it helps reduce levels of overexcitement of the brain. That’s why it’s used as an anxiolytic, that is, it reduces anxiety, and also as a cognitive enhancer, to improve memory, attention, sociability, motivation, performance, and even to treat insomnia.
In my case as I had already had a good experience with Modafinil, I encouraged myself to try phenibut in order to improve my sociability, as I am very shy and introverted when I am with people I do not know. I don’t remember when it was the first time I used it, but I remember when I tried it I liked it.
So far, those were the only two synthetic nootropics I’ve tried so far and I can tell you that:
If I take Modafinil or phenibut I do it in very particular cases, that is, I do not always consume them.
Modafinil was taken in very small doses (a sixth of a pill) when I know I have to perform technical tasks that require my concentration, but not my creativity, for example, at the time when I was working as a Pinterest manager and had to file reports, which is a bit super boring for me, I took a little bit and could complete the tasks of a serve.
Now, did you see that I said they were tasks that required concentration and not creativity? Well, when I take Modafinil I feel a need for two things: either learn something or concrete something I already know how to do. However, when it comes to creative activities, such as writing or designing, I don’t feel like I’m doing my best, if I’m m in love.
Afterwards, phenibut was taken only when I know I’m going to a meeting where I don’t know anyone or almost anyone, and I know I need to function without fear and naturally. I have used it in conferences and networking events, where I needed to be able to communicate myself, without the normal shame I feel in front of strangers.
Taking phenibut is like having a glass of wine or two glasses of beer, that’s the feeling I get when I drink it.
As I said recently, I do not always consume, but I do so in very particular cases, being aware that I do not need them to function, and that I take them to enhance mental functions that I already have.
I imagine you’ll wonder if they have contraindications, and yes, as any supplement there can be side effects.
It’s up to you to do your research there, as I said at the beginning, and consult your doctor.
Here are some examples of contraindications:
Modafinil inhibits the effects of birth control pills, so women, be careful. Also, in my experience, I feel that when I take Modafinil I can’t stop working and it’s often counterproductive.
On the other hand, phenibut, being relaxing can distort your sleep cycles because it gives you a lot of sleep after a few hours. Besides, being in inhibitory, it’s not convenient to drink alcohol if you’ve consumed phenibut, because you fart with a cup. So if you take phenibut, I knew you can’t take much because there you are going to pass a paper (I tell you because it happened to me, not to make a paper, but to realize that I was farting).
Of course there may be more contraindications, so do your research if you’re interested in this topic.
As you’ll see, nootropics are a totally optional tool for working and meeting goals, but they don’t replace your ability as a human being to do what you want.
While there’s the stereotype of the successful mega person who spends his time consuming cocaine or other substances to be well up, that’s very, very different from what we’re chatting about here.
Nootropics are a way to enhance the capabilities you already have, and there are even natural nootropics, such as green tea, that help you achieve the same thing.
If you’re interested, in another post we can talk about natural nootropics, and for that you have to leave me a comment as I know.
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Modafinil is a drug developed for the treatment of extreme lethargy. Despite being proven its effectiveness in the intervention of sleep disorders, there is still controversy whether it can improve subject performance in higher cognitive processes, such as memory and executive functions.
This randomized, crossover, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial; it was designed to evaluate the effect of Modafinil compared to a placebo, on the cognitive functions of healthy college students. 162 volunteers were recruited, randomly assigned to a group Modafinil or a placebo consumption group. Both groups were evaluated using the Stroop Test, the Cognitive Estimation Biber Test and the Digit Span Test digits). After 15 days, they were assigned to the other intervention
Modafinil (-2-[(difenil)methylsulfinil]acetamide) is a psychostimulant with wakefulness-promoting properties, which was already available for commercial use in France in the 1990s . It has demonstrated particular effectiveness in the treatment of lethargy and sleep disorders [
Some authors state that Modafinil increases performance in tasks associated with cognitive functions such as working memory, visual health care and executive functions. For others, Modafinil improves cognitive performance in healthy sleep deprived adults, but only in regard to attentional and alert functions ,.
Its primary mechanism of action is unknown , although its effects have been demonstrated in different neurotransmitter systems
The use of stimulants to improve academic performance has increased in the young population in the United States . More than seven million Americans employ wake-up stimulants, and approximately 1.6 million of these people are students,. An online survey of more than 1400 people from sixty countries showed that 20% of respondents had ever used a psychoactive drug to improve their concentration or memory and 44% of them had used Modafinil. Students between the age of 18 and 25  are the population most often associated with the use of stimulants to improve attention and memory.
There are no formal studies reporting the use of Modafinil among students in Chile. However, some media surveys report an increase in stimulant consumption in students between the age of 19 and 25, with the highest levels of consumption concentrated during the final exam periods of the courses ,.
Effect of Modafinil on attention Most of the research conducted on healthy adults to assess whether stimulants improve cognitive performance has produced conflicting or inconclusive results . Although Modafinil plays a key role in certain cognitive functions such as attention , and tasks that demand a certain level of performance, it seems to have little effect when a higher demand is added .
Trials that have evaluated attention in adults demonstrate advantages among those who consume Modafinil compared to those who consume placebo, in terms of attention using the Stop-Signal Task , but this result appears to be closely associated with the subject’s IQ.
A study in young volunteers also found evidence of a positive effect on the Attention Shift Task, after intake of Modafinil. It seems to facilitate rapid shifting of care in demanding conditions, although it offers minimal benefit when unpredictable and infrequent care unhook is required to respond to an alternative stimulus in a concurrent task.
A clinical trial with 45 participants without sleep deprivation found no conclusive results regarding attentional performance, possibly due to the small sample size . This finding shows that the evidence in favor of Modafinil as an attentional optimizer is ambiguous.
This is why it becomes relevant to investigate the role that this substance plays in relation to certain attentional phenomena. In particular with regard to selective attention (inhibition of a response to irrelevant information), which is a key process in learning . This dimension of attention has been selected in this research, due to the fact that impairments in selective care among secondary and tertiary students have been shown to be accompanied by low information processing and learning capacity, and therefore poor academic performance .
Executive functions and memory Studies that have aimed to prove that Modafinil can improve performance in higher cognitive processes such as memory and executive function in healthy participants have yielded conflicting results ,,,. So far there have been no systematic reviews of its impact.
The ambiguity of these previous findings motivated this research. The goal was to evaluate the effects of Modafinil on the cognitive performance of college students, particularly in terms of short-term memory, executive functions and attention.
design This randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover-designed trial was designed to evaluate the effect of Modafinil on the cognitive functions of healthy students. It was held at the University of Valparaiso, Chile. The protocol was approved by the Ethics Committee of the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Valparaiso, under authorization code 04/2010 CEFM and was registered on the Clinical Trials (http://clinicaltrials.gov/) website under CNT code 01365897.
Participants Eligible participants included health students between the ages of 18 and 29. They were summoned using open notices on a website. Thus, medical and psychology students (No. 180) of both sexes were contacted, recruiting those who met the criteria of inclusion (No. 162). The minimum sample size was 155 subjects considering significance level p.0.05, power of 0.80 (1-beta), expected difference from 19 to 19.15 and a possible loss of 20%.
Significance level of p-0.05. Power (1-β) of .0.80. Expected difference from 19 (SD-0.7) to 19.25 (SD-0.7) and a possible loss of 20%. The inclusion criteria were:
a) Age between 18 and 29 years: This age range was chosen because there is a cognitive impairment of 1% of the total IQ between the ages of 25 and 29 . The purpose of this criterion was to work with a sample without cognitive impairment, as this could modify the performance of the volunteers.
b) Be a student of health careers at the University of Valparaiso.
c) Have a healthy weight. The reason behind this criterion is that all volunteers received the same dose of Modafinil. Therefore, subjects outside this range could have generated different plasma levels.
The exclusion criteria were:
a) Mental disorders. Evaluated according to the subject’s medical history or by obtaining a pathological significance score in the Primary Care Evaluation of Mental Disorders (Prime-MD) questionnaire .
b) Current use of psychotropic substances of any kind.
c) Alcohol consumption up to three days before the experiment.
d) History or symptoms of current chronic physical illness.
e) Be pregnant or breast-feeding.
f) Be deprived of sleep.
Outcome measures The main result was the attention score, expressed according to the proportion of correct stroop test responses. Additional analyses were conducted that compared the percentage of correct responses and response latency in this test, in the digit amplitude task, and in the Biber Cognitive Estimation Test (BCET) between the two groups.
procedure Participants were recruited from several cohorts of the aforementioned races, without receiving financial compensation. They signed the corresponding informed consent and answered the Primary Care Evaluation of Mental Disorders, a self-administered questionnaire used to assess possible psychiatric conditions. Subsequently, they were briefly interviewed to check for the presence of any other exclusion conditions related to sleep deprivation and substance intake (psychotropic drugs or alcohol use). Those who did not meet any exclusion criteria were deemed eligible to participate in the investigation.
Once the final sample was defined, the volunteers were quoted in randomly formed groups in shifts of twenty people to perform the tests simultaneously. This is intended to ensure that the tests were properly applied, according to the conditions and capacity of the computer room of the School of Psychology of the University of Valparaiso, and to achieve adequate plasma levels of Modafinil during the administration of the tests .
The assignment of participants to each arm (group that received one of the two substances) was done randomly through a computer program and the sequence was hidden by the principal investigator. On the first day, participants received substance A or substance B, which corresponded to 200 mg of Modafinil or placebo (placebo grageas that were manufactured at the University School of Chemistry and Pharmacy with the same shape and color of Modafinil gragea used in the experiment).
Instruments Stroop Test : The Iowa Stroop Test was used in a computerized adaptation through the Medialab program. This test requires participants to read color names (blue, green, red, and yellow) that are displayed in different colors (blue, green, red, and yellow). Your task is to identify the color of the word by neglecting the meaning of the word. There are two conditions: a congruent, in which the name of the color and the color of the letters match; and an incongruous one, in which the name of the color and color of the letters are different. The recorded variables were response accuracy (correct color identification) and response latency (in milliseconds). This logging method delivered two types of measures: precision and latency, both for the congruent and incongruous conditions.
The Stroop Test primarily evaluates selective attention, since the subject must ignore the distracting stimulus in the incongruous situation. According to a systematic review , the Stroop Test has been the most widely used instrument to evaluate this cognitive function.
Digit Span in normal and inverted order : This test consists of a series of digits presented to the volunteer that measures short-term memory amplitude, attention, and the ability to form sequences. The test consists of two sections: normal and inverted. In the normal section, the stimulus should be repeated in sequence. In the reversed section, the stimulus must be repeated in reverse order. The maximum rating for the first section is 8 points and the maximum of the second section is 7, which yields a total maximum score of 15. This measurement has a high split-half reliability (r-0.89)  and acceptable test-retest reliability (r-0.80) .
The Biber Cognitive Estimation Test (BCET) : consists of twenty items, five of each of the following categories: time/duration, quantity, weight and distance/length. The test requires participants to submit values to questions for which they have no answers prepared. For example, the question “What is the length of an average man’s spinal cord?” requires the participant to select an appropriate answer and estimate its plausibility, but does not require a complex calculation . Each response that falls within a preset range receives a point. The maximum score for this test is 20 points.
Data design and analysis A randomized crossover design was chosen, which is based on the advantage of each participant acting as their own control. The mapping sequence was hidden by the lead researcher from volunteers, executors, and data analysts.
Based on the methodological design used, Student’s t-test was used to compare paired sample means. Specifically, the analysis compared the means obtained for each item in the experimental condition and in the placebo condition. Statistical analyses were conducted with the Stata 12.0 program (Statacorp, College Station, Texas, United States). The level of significance considered was p<0.05.
Papers and Bibliography:
Randall DC, Viswanath A, Bharania P, Elsabagh SM, Hartley DE, Shneerson JM, et al. Does modafinil enhance cognitive performance in young volunteers who are not sleep-deprived? J Clin Psychopharmacol. 2005 Apr;25(2):175-9. Info here.
Randall DC, Shneerson JM, File SE. Cognitive effects of modafinil in student volunteers may depend on IQ. Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2005 Sep;82(1):133-9. Info here.
Spitzer RL, Kroenke K, Williams JB. Validation and utility of a self-report version of PRIME-MD: the PHQ primary care study. Primary Care Evaluation of Mental Disorders. Patient Health Questionnaire. JAMA. 1999 Nov 10;282(18):1737-44. Info here.
Turner DC, Robbins TW, Clark L, Aron AR, Dowson J, Sahakian BJ. Cognitive enhancing effects of modafinil in healthy volunteers. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2003 Jan;165(3):260-9. Info here.
The quality of stimulating memory and boosting cognitive functions makes nootropics a very seductive solution for anyone who intends to improve their ability to concentrate and focus their ideas and actions.
According to Dr. Corneliu E. Giurgea, all nootropics improve memory and ability to learn, help the brain function in disruptive conditions, protect it from chemical and physical attacks, increase the effectiveness of neural control mechanisms and have little or no side effects.
Which nootropics should i take
However, there are many types of nootropics and each more intensely reinforces certain aspects, so we share a list of the most recommended nootropics and their main benefits.
Which nootropics impact working memory
Caffeine: Found in coffee, chocolate, soft drinks or as a supplement. Moderate intake of this increases people’s alertness and attention, as it blocks adenosine receptors to decrease tiredness.
L-Theanine: It is found in tea or as a supplement and has a calming effect without causing drowsiness. In addition, it increases Alpha waves in the brain related to creativity.
Creatine: It is a supplement that promotes muscle growth, short-term memory enhancement and reasoning skills. It is recommended for highly stressed people and bodybuilders.
Bacopa Monnieri: Accelerates information processing, reduces reaction time and improves memory. Its effects are not felt immediately, it should be taken for several months to notice the improvement.
Rhodiola Rosea: Helps the body manage stress, improves mood and reduces exhaustion, especially in anxious or very stressed people.
Modafinil: Reduces feelings of fatigue, improves memory in adults with little rest and improves the ability to properly manage their time. However, this nootropic should only be taken on prescription and should be controlled to avoid negative side effects. You can check best Moda options here.
Methylphenidate: It is also used to treat attention deficit with hyperactivity and narcolepsy, but there are adults who take it. This medicine improves attention, short-term memory and causes people to process information faster. However, it is of the utmost importance to take it with a prescription and strict care because of the strong side effects.
Each organism operates in a particular way and the needs of each person are unique and individual. For this reason, it is important to know the types of nootropics that exist and the effects they can generate and thus be able to make the best usage decisions and get the best benefits from it.
Why nootropics are effective
Have you ever wondered why you avoid doing your to-do and putting them off even though that then causes you stress? The answer is simple, as you find it difficult to stay focused when you have no pressure, you prefer to leave it for the last moment so that, with that tension you can stay focused. It’s not your fault, that’s how we all work.
We get used to these bad habits and make them everyday or normal in our day to day because we have been neglecting our brains for a long time. Few people know how to stay focused, that is, with a constant focus on their tasks; for this reason, desmotivation or delay in making decisions is normal. Generally speaking, it could be said that very few manage to be productive, actually.
The problem is that we believe that these things only happen when a job is not attractive enough to us, but it is not. Focus and concentration functions should happen on a regular basis in our brains, but this, to function properly in these and other activities, needs maintenance and good administration.
How the human brain works in Nootropics
To understand this, it’s important to analyze how it works. The brain never stops processing, regulating and monitoring an incredibly complex network of neurochemical signals and reactions; so you need ongoing care to be able to repair your cells and feel energyy. Although it has the ability to regulate naturally, there are ways to accelerate and motivate these brain restoration functions. One of the most effective and recommended is the use of nootropics, also called smart drugs, by being able to naturally improve the brain’s energy production pathways.
Nootropics improve the activity of catecholamines (a group of hormones that include adrenaline, noradrelin and dopamine), increase cellular energy levels, reduce brain fatigue, decrease over-active cognitive pathways and optimize the release of cortisol (stress hormone).
Thanks to the above, nootropics help you be more productive because they promote a relaxed and energyy flow of thinking, which makes your body more resistant to distractions and emotional disorders. This promotes the ability to make decisions faster and more assertively, as well as staying motivated to do all your tasks.
Going round and round the slopes without deciding to get down to business, it doesn’t have to be your “daily bread.” Concentration and focus are two qualities that you have very much at hand with the use of nootropics helping your mind to function better. It’s not magic, even if it looks like it.
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