Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

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Study: Some “brain-boosting” supplements sold in the US contain not-approved drugs at supratherapeutic doses, exposing users to unknown side effects

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Some brain-boost­ing sup­ple­ments con­tain an unap­proved drug that could harm users, study warns (STAT news):

Promis­ing to lift brain fog or improve mem­o­ry, brain-boost­ing sup­ple­ments have joined sex­u­al-enhance­ment and weight-loss reme­dies in the light­ly reg­u­lat­ed world of dietary sup­ple­ments. These prod­ucts may be sold legal­ly with broad-brush come-ons like these, as long as they don’t make spe­cif­ic claims about treat­ing a dis­ease — or con­tain actu­al drugs.

New research led by Dr. Pieter Cohen of Har­vard Med­ical School doc­u­ments five sup­ple­ment brands for sale in the U.S. that con­tain var­i­ous amounts of pirac­etam Read the rest of this entry »

Limitless evidenceless trend: The growth of nootropic supplements

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The all-too-under­stand­able urge to buy a bet­ter brain (Vox):

… unfor­tu­nate­ly, Bradley Coop­er is part­ly to blame for the boom of the edi­ble brain-improve­ment indus­try.

In 2011, he starred in Lim­it­less, a movie about a man who takes a spe­cial pill and becomes smarter and more capa­ble than any­one else on Earth. I’m jok­ing about the cul­tur­al sig­nif­i­cance of this movie, but I’m also not. It was a wild card and an unex­pect­ed hit, and it main­streamed an idea that had already been tak­ing hold among Sil­i­con Val­ley bio­hack­ers and human opti­miza­tion zealots. Read the rest of this entry »

AARP: A majority of Americans believe dietary supplements improve brain health, despite the lack of evidence

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New Report Dis­cour­ages Adults From Using Brain Health Sup­ple­ments (Pre­ven­tion):

This morn­ing, the Glob­al Coun­sel on Brain Health released a report con­clud­ing that dietary sup­ple­ments do not improve brain health or pre­vent cog­ni­tive decline, demen­tia, or Alzheimer’s dis­ease. The report, released by the AARP, flat­ly rec­om­mends that most con­sumers do not take sup­ple­ments for this pur­pose. Read the rest of this entry »

The FDA cracks down on dozens of supplements claiming to prevent or cure Alzheimer’s Disease

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FDA takes action against 17 com­pa­nies for ille­gal­ly sell­ing prod­ucts claim­ing to treat Alzheimer’s dis­ease (US Food & Drug Admin­is­tra­tion):

The U.S. Food and Drug Admin­is­tra­tion today post­ed 12 warn­ing let­ters and 5 online advi­so­ry let­ters issued to for­eign and domes­tic com­pa­nies that are ille­gal­ly sell­ing more than 58 prod­ucts, many that are sold as dietary sup­ple­ments, which are unap­proved new drugs and/or mis­brand­ed drugs that claim to pre­vent, treat or cure Alzheimer’s dis­ease Read the rest of this entry »

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. Read the rest of this entry »

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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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