The study of smart drugs, or nootropics (from the Greek words for "toward the mind"), is currently one of the most exciting developments in pharmaceutical research. Nearly every large pharmaceutical company in the world (and many small ones) is testing at least one experimental nootropic drug for possible approval by the FDA.
As odd as it may seem, the FDA has no category for drugs that improve memory and cognition in healthy people. In fact, the FDA will approve a drug only if it can be shown to be effective in treating a disease! People who are already afflicted with senility or Alzheimer's disease can seek treatment from a handful of FDA-approved drugs currently on the U.S. market, yet those who enjoy excellent mental health and wish to prevent Alzheimer's disease and other mental afflictions must head south of the border or cross the Atlantic to purchase brain-boosting (and brain-saving) smart drugs.
Fortunately, many nootropics are available from Europe, Japan, and Mexico through mail-order companies (see Appendix I for addresses and phone numbers). These drugs, according to published research, appear to enjoy a level of safety that surpasses most other types of prescription drugs. This statement seems reasonable because most smart drugs are based on the molecular structure of smart nutrients, which are drug-free and have few harmful side effects.
The research and development of smart drugs is still in its infancy, and the level of sophistication in the design of smart drugs has not reached full maturity. Some smart drugs, such as Hydergine (ergoloid mesylates) and Eldepryl (deprenyl, selegiline) have been proved effective and relatively nontoxic in humans. Fortunately, both drugs are approved by the FDA and are available in the United States by prescription. This means that a physician may prescribe these drugs for any reason (even to help "de-age" an apparently healthy brain) even though the FDA has not approved them for the prevention of medical conditions, such as senility.
Smart drugs offer a relatively safe way to energize the brain, improve memory, neutralize free radicals, and prevent brain damage that can lead to impaired mental performance and premature aging. Newer and more effective smart drugs are currently being tested by most major pharmaceutical firms, and I predict that these compounds will become the new magic mental bullets of the next century, extending life expectancy and improving the quality of life, much like antibiotics did in the twentieth century.
People who are adverse to using drugs of any type can still obtain many of the benefits of smart drugs by using smart nutrient equivalents. In this chapter, I'll tell you about four important types of smart drags that can improve your memory, mood, and mental energy and help fight the effects of brain aging. When applicable, I'll tell you which smart nutrients you can use to achieve the same type of results as the corresponding smart drug. Finally I'll tell you how to import your own personal supply of smart drugs into the United States. This method is not only legal but is fully sanctioned by the FDA. Most people are unaware that the FDA actually permits individuals in the United States to mail-order smart drugs (provided the drugs are legal in their country of origin) from international suppliers without a physician's prescription.