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Time to update the regulatory framework for cognitive enhancement–especially nootropics?

smart-drugs-nootropicsSeek­ing an edge, these brain hack­ers mix up risky chem­i­cal cock­tails for break­fast (Stat):

…A 31-year-old entre­pre­neur, Gutiér­rez has thrown him­self into the emerg­ing move­ment of body hack­ing — or, more pre­cise­ly, brain hack­ing. He’s a con­nois­seur of “nootrop­ics,” a broad cat­e­go­ry that includes phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal drugs, dietary sup­ple­ments, and do-it-your­self con­coc­tions, all of them meant to turn the brain up a notch.

They haven’t been clin­i­cal­ly proven to work, and there’s emerg­ing evi­dence that some could be dan­ger­ous. But nootrop­ics, also called smart drugs, have become pop­u­lar among young type A per­son­al­i­ties on Wall Street, in the Ivy League, and here in the fren­zied start­up cul­ture of Sil­i­con Val­ley…

Like all dietary sup­ple­ments, nootrop­ics are only very loose­ly reg­u­lat­ed; the man­u­fac­tur­ers don’t have to prove safe­ty or effi­ca­cy before putting them on store shelves. By law, the Food and Drug Admin­is­tra­tion can step in to recall a prod­uct only if it’s mis­la­beled or caus­ing ill­ness or injury…

To give some idea of the pop­u­lar­i­ty: The nootrop­ics page on Red­dit, which serves as an online forum for the do-it-your­self-crowd, has more than 65,000 read­ers.”

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Categories: Cognitive Neuroscience, Education & Lifelong Learning, Peak Performance

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As seen in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, BBC News, CNN, Reuters,  SharpBrains is an independent market research firm tracking how brain science can improve our health and our lives.

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