The evolution of branding art and labeling styles of nootropic drugs

Over the last decade, brand labels have adapted to modern styles of art to attract younger audiences. In the nootropic drug industry, companies are copying each other and the results are giving nootropic brands lots of attention in health media.

Neuroenhancement has quickly become the talk of town, with its growing popularity and both neuroscientists and bioethicists are viewing it as a great opportunity to explore the possibility of enhancing the cognitive function of the population. Many of those who view the prospect of the use of nootropic drugs as something which is gaining widespread usage and momentum cite that it has many benefits to promote its use, while others still remain skeptic of the use of products which offer a weak support for such a claim.

Nootropics are brain boosting supplements, which are referred to as smart drugs. These supplements offer a wide range of benefits which include the promotion of brain health and the acceleration of different mental processes like memory and cognitive function. Learning capacity, focus and attention of an individual are supposed to improve with nootropic drugs.

Nootropics work as cognitive enhancers, and work to increase the brain activity, by making the active communication between the neurons and the brain, a more efficient process. Most nootropics are part of the Racetam family, which are known to be positive modulators of the acetylcholine, but other neurotransmitters also feel the impact of their result. The results are notably a heightened increase in the function of memory retention as well as the recall mechanism, found to be in the short and long term working memory domain.

The nootropic drugs also boost the synaptic plasticity, which gives a boost to the learning capacity, and makes the brain more efficient at being adaptable. Some people experience subtle changes, while others feel powerful results. A heightened oxygen uptake, increased blood flow, and improved glucose metabolism within the brain, are all results of the use of a nootropic drug.

With nootropics being the new and popular supplement in town to enhance all those brain functions and enjoy a much more focused mind with improved concentration and learning skills, media hype has played a significant role in the growing popularity of this particular type of neuroenhancement supplement.

Media Hype and the Use of Smart Drugs Growing Common with the Population   

The media has played a significant role in the growth of the use of smart drugs in the current population. Many expect the nootropic drugs to grow so common in use that they will be compared to coffee before long, and be used just as regularly.

A study was carried out to observe the empirical results of how the media reports the use of neuroenhancement drugs and how it supports details about the prevalence of these smart drugs. The study also observed the types of support claims that the media uses to foster the use of these Nootropic drugs, and all the risks and benefits that the media shares about the use of these smart drugs with its audience. [1]

The study involved using the Factivia database, for the purpose of getting results. There were 142 articles found about the use of non medical use prescription drugs, for the purpose of neuroenhancement, which were published in different newspapers in the period of 2008 to 2010. As part of the research study, it was decided to conduct a comprehensive thematic content analysis, with regards to how the articles were able to portray the possible prevalence of the nootropic supplements. The research also explored the kind of evidence that was used to support the claim, and the different potential benefits, along with the side effects and risks, that were mentioned or discussed of opting for neuroenhancement through the use of nootropic drugs.

The results of the study showed some startling observations, since around 87% of the articles published by the media, showed that neuroenhacement was something that would prevail. 94% of the articles considered the use of nootropics and smart drugs to be quite common, and also cited the trend to keep on growing. Around 95% of the articles noted down at least one possible benefit of using nootropic drugs, while only a small 58% mentioned any side effect of the use of these neuroenhancement drugs.

Only an insignificant 15% were spotted to having posed a question about the possible efficacy of the prescription drugs, and whether it provided any benefits to its users. The study revealed that media hype advocated the positives and benefits of using smart drugs to give a boost to neurotrasnmitters, yet the base of the content was all based on reports from weak academic literature, that did not provide strong support to help establish this claim.

Cognitive Enhancers for Treatment? The Viability of the Option

Many cognitive enhancers or nootropic drugs are being prescribed for the treatment of different conditions like ADHD and narcolepsy, with methylphenidate and modafinil. There is much debate as to how effective these drugs are for treatment as well as for cognitive enhancement amongst different individuals and subgroups.

A study was carried out to use the in silico method of screening for the purpose of identifying possible enhancers, which followed with a high throughput, both in vivo and in vitro validation process. [2]This method makes use of the gene expression data in order to evaluate the possible collection of suppressed and activated signaling pathways which are visible in tissues along with the neurons of the brain that are cognitively enhanced.

Algorithm maps were used as part of the study to quantify the activation strength of the individual. The study stressed that drugs can be screened duly and also ranked as per their possible ability to mimic, minimize or maybe exaggerate a possible pathway suppression or activation within the signaling pathway cloud.

The study used this set of approach to predict the possible efficacy of different drugs that in turn enhance the different cognitive aspects, before any kind of costly and time consuming preclinical studies and trials are done to study the efficacy of a nootropic drug or neuroenhancer.

What Can We Conclude?

The media has used its influence to promote the use of smart drugs, and by sharing the benefits sourced from weak academic articles, they are driving the population to accept the use of smart drugs just like any other supplement which boosts productivity. The dearth of media articles sharing possible risks and side effects of these nootropic drugs presents a big question concerning what the media has portrayed with all its hype relating to neuroenhancement drugs.

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