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Can Nootropics Cause Brain Damage?

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Nootropics, or ‘smart tabs’ , are on the rise because of their robust influences on the brain and capability to ameliorate broad cognitive function. Besides, many natural nootropics can shield the brain from traumatic damage, and others can mitigate the consequences of its damage or continued injury. Some of these natural nootropics may even be capable of heightening recovery after the last one.

Though, there are still many individuals worrying about the possibility of nootropics inducing brain damage. Well, can nootropics induce permanent brain damage? Do any safe nootropics aid safeguard the brain from traumatic injury or concussion?

Before we answer these questions, we ought to appropriately define brain injury and what nootropics can & can’t do for its damage.

What is nootropics?

Nootropics are pharmaceutical meds (prescriptions) & supplements (nonprescription) asserted to ameliorate cognitive performance via many means, such as augmenting individual working memory, providing insanely great attention, executive functions, motivation, clarity, mental alertness, & concentration + augmenting energy levels, wakefulness, & many more brainpower effects in healthy individuals.

Nootropics are commonly referred to as “smart drugs,” cognition enhancers, or memory-enhancing substances [1]. But generally, they are a class of substances that can heighten brain performance. A physician may prescribe a nootropic to therapy a medical condition.

Prescription nootropics comprise:

  • Modafinil (Provigil) and armodafinil (Nuvigil). A very robust pharmaceutical med approved to handle the premature drowsiness of narcolepsy, obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), & shift work sleep disorder (SWSD). Off-label, healthy individuals use it as a safe & efficacious cognitive augmenter. If eager to know where to buy armodafinil or modafinil online from a safe vendor, follow the given link for an in-depth review of the best vendors.
  • Adderall. It contains amphetamines to treat ADHD. It can aid augment the capability to pay attention, remain focused on an activity, and control behaviour concerns. It may correspondingly aid to organise individual tasks & enhance listening skills. This med is also used to remedy narcolepsy to assist to stay awake during the day;
  • Methylphenidate (Ritalin). A stimulant that can control the manifestation of narcolepsy and ADHD. Its effects are similar to adderall.
  • Memantine (Axura). Treats symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). AD is a brain condition that gradually eradicates the memory & the capability to learn, think, communicate, and handle daily activities.

Certainly, while these nootropics are efficacious in treating distinct medical conditions, an individual shouldn’t take them without a prescription. They carry the perils of negative effects and interactions.

Over-the-counter (OTC) nootropics are also natural or synthetic supplements that heighten mental performance, & most don’t demand a prescription. Some of them include:

  • Caffeine
  • L-theanine: Heightens cognitive performance and alertness
  • Omega-3 fatty acids: Essential for correcting and renewing brain cells
  • Racetams: Affects brain neurotransmitters for cognitive effects
  • Ginkgo biloba: Helps with dementia symptoms by augmenting brain function
  • Panax ginseng: Prevents certain brain diseases, including AD, Parkinson’s, and Huntington’s disease. Also aids with brain recovery after a stroke
  • Rhodiola: Has neuroprotective effects and aid remedy neurodegenerative diseases & assists with cognitive ability
  • Creatine: Benefits with short-term memory and reasoning

There are several other OTC nootropics, including Mind Lab Pro, Alpha Brain, NooCube, Qualia Mind, etc.

Certainly, many nootropics are administered as isolated substances for their distinct benefits. For instance, the lion’s mane mushroom heightens cognitive function by boosting NGF (nerve growth factor), and bacopa monnieri ameliorates brain antioxidants.

What is brain damage?

There is a significant difference between a brain injury induced by trauma (understood as a Traumatic Brain Injury or TBI) & brain damage that’s either genetic or induced by the body itself (this’s comprehended as Acquired Brain Injury or ABI).

Certainly, TBI is a brain injury induced by things like falling from a height, boxing, or banging your head in some way. It’s just when the external world effectively induces the injury. The condition is induced by a bump, blow or jolt to the head that disrupts the normal process of the brain. The severity of TBI can range from ‘mild’ TBI (e.g., a temporary change in mental status or consciousness) to ‘severe’ TBI (e.g., extended duration of unconsciousness or even memory loss).

Best nootropics for this condition include creatine (boost the recovery, locomotion, sociability, communication, personality, behavior, and cognitive function), omega-3 fatty acids, DHA & EPA, green tea, lithium orotate, N-Acetyl L-Cysteine (lessens irritability, anxiety, & depression linked with TBI), pine bark extract, Piracetam, Resveratrol, Pramiracetam, Oxiracetam, Turmeric, & B-Complex Vitamins [2][3].

An ABI is induced either by a genetic fault or by some kind of internal events such as an aneurysm or a stroke.

Having moderate to severe brain injury? Pursue professional medical assistance instantly. Early awareness makes a huge distinction in most ABIs, and it can permit smooth and speed up the rehab process for TBI too. 

Numerous symptoms that accompany brain damage can be broken down into three distinct categories: cognitive, physical, and emotional.

Physical symptoms include vision problems, headache, ringing ears, trouble speaking, light sensitivity, fatigue, nausea, and impaired movement. Cognitive signs may be dizziness, memory loss, blackouts, confusion, and no concentration. Besides, emotional problems include irritability, mood swings, personality change, and anxiety.

How do nootropics exactly work?

Nootropics work across numerous brain pathways, optimising the brain’s various structures and ultimately functions in many different ways. It operates by changing the amounts of certain natural substances, particularly neurotransmitters.

It optimizes neurotransmitters by supplying brain chemical precursors, impeding neurotransmitter breakdown, augmenting neurotransmitter synthesis, & also boosting receptor sensitivity.

Certainly, the benefits of boosting brain function result in various cognitive benefits such as improved various aspects of memory performance, learning, boosted mood & motivation; enhanced focus, attention, ameliorated creativity, concentration, drive & positivity; boosted mental stamina & augmented mental composure under pressure. It also boosts information processing and heightens verbal acuity.

Can nootropics really cause permanent brain damage?

Natural nootropics are remarkably safe. But can nootropics cause brain damage? It’s even more improbable that a nootropic supplement will induce brain damage. As far studies depict, there aren’t typically-used natural nootropics that are considered to induce brain damage in any manner.

Now, this doesn’t involve every brain supplement presence. There’re lots of substances that are more than qualified of inducing damage if abused; adderall is certainly a prime example.

This also doesn’t involve individuals with serious brain injuries or pre-existing concerns with their brains. If that’s you, you ought to converse with your physician before using any nootropics. Indeed, it’s suggested getting valid advice from your routine physician before administering any nootropic.

Typically, most nootropic enthusiasts aren’t at risk of brain damage when using high-quality natural nootropic supplements like Alpha Brain, NooCube, Qualia Mind, or Mind Lab Pro. Besides, prescription nootropics like armodafinil & modafinil are very safe. 

Certainly, there is extremely little logic to suppose that nootropics (e.g., armodafinil, modafinil, or any other synthetic dopaminergic nootropics) induce brain damage – there is no proof indicating that they can harm you when used in isolation at appropriate doses. Nonetheless, stimulant meds like Vyvanse, Focalin XR, & Adderall can unquestionably induce brain damage when used for long periods. Indeed, chronic abuse of stimulant meds can damage dopamine receptors and impair brain cell repair.

Besides, safe nootropics can potentially induce brain damage when blended with other substances incorrectly. An excellent example is booze. Combining alcohol with nootropics like modafinil, armodafinil, Fladrafinil, or Aniracetam can potentially augment the peril of undergoing alcohol-induced brain damage.

Consulted a physician and looking for where to buy armodafinil online OTC? Well, it’s prudent to rely on legit & reliable online vendors that sell generic armodafinil sourced from FDA-authorised firms.


Nootropics don’t induce brain damage provided they are being administered correctly and aren’t being misused. Certainly, mega-dosing, combining nootropics with certain meds, and poor stacking procedures are some instances of misuse, which could guide to adverse effects.

As discussed, products such as citicoline, lion’s mane mushroom, Bacopa monnieri, and also phosphatidylserine are among the most useful nootropics for brain protection and overall brain health.


  1. What are nootropics (smart drugs)? By Jennifer Berry. Medically reviewed by Alan Carter, Pharm.D. Published: September 18, 2019. Medicalnewstoday.com.
  2. Prevention of complications related to traumatic brain injury in children and adolescents with creatine administration: an open label randomized pilot study. By G. Sakellaris, M. Kotsiou, M. Tamiolaki, G. Kalostos, E. Tsapaki, M. Spanaki, M. Spilioti, G. Charissis, and A. Evangeliou. Published: August 2006. Pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov.
  3. A New Avenue for Lithium: Intervention in Traumatic Brain Injury. By Peter R. Leeds, Fengshan Yu, Zhifei Wang, Chi-Tso Chiu, Yumin Zhang, Yan Leng, Gabriel R. Linares, and De-Maw Chuang. Published: April 3, 2014. Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov.

John Wayne did his degree in psychology at the University of Hertfordshire. He is interested in mental health, wellness, and lifestyle.

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