Cognitive/Brain boosting supplements
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By Jack86 - 1/28/2011 12:50:48 PM
Plenty of cognitive enhancing supplements exist, among them the following:

Vitamin B-12
Gingko Biloba
Acetyl L-Carnitine
Alpha Lipoic Acid

However, which of those are truly beneficial. Having done quite some research myself, I know that phosphatidylserine, lecithin (from soy extract), and Gingko are controversial when it comes to scientific proof of effectiveness. Moreover, some supplements only seem to help in disorder-specific conditions such as Alzheimer or worsened cognitive performance related to aging. 

I myself am a master student in business and having suffered Lyme, I have an awful short-term memory and am seeking supplements to not only improve memory, but also to boost my performance at university in general. What supplements are recommendable for this purpose?

English is not my native language, so I apologize in advance for spelling and/or grammar mistakes.
By DDye - 1/28/2011 12:54:10 PM
Life Extension's information on mild cognitive impairment will be of interest.

Sleep is one of the most important factors in consolidating memories.  Poor ability to handle stress also has a negative impact. 
By MrGeorge - 1/28/2011 1:23:31 PM
I've read that galantamine is quite effective but you'll have to research it for any problems(side effects) as with anything.

Though new, some have said combining PQQ and CO-Q10 helps with alertness, you can use this in combination with other boosters.

Phenylalanine and caffeine helps for awhile(hours).

More isn't always better in this area and doses probably will have to be adjusted for your unique system.

Best to find something that solves the problem and has other beneficial effects at the same time.

Good luck!!!  Exclamation
By Hikerbabe - 1/30/2011 6:23:57 PM
I would like to hear from you if you find an answer that really works.  I have the same problem with memory but mine is caused from diabetis.
By albedo - 1/31/2011 6:23:50 AM
Maybe you can also consider and discuss with your doctor about piracetam. Lot of info on the web and well tested.
By Tom. - 2/2/2011 6:09:11 AM
Recent research has shown that high intensity cardiovascular exercise, such as running, helps the brain grow even in later years. Especially areas of the brain that decline with Alzheimer's disease.  Do a internet search for: RUNNING and BRAIN, CARDIOVASCULAR EXERCISE and BRAIN, and you'll see he recent headlines.  Exercise therapy is free. Smile
By Hal - 4/15/2011 9:29:17 AM
I didn't even know diabetes could cause memory loss.  I've also heard that galantamine can help with disorder-related memory loss.  There are a variety of immune supplements that can help as well.  You can't underestimate the abilities of sleep, exercise and stress relief!  I'm fighting the stress right now! 
By DDye - 4/15/2011 9:32:25 AM
By nycnite - 4/15/2011 1:59:14 PM
My favorite integrated cognitive supplement is Ortho-Mind by AOR. It covers a lot of bases, and is definitely one of the best values I've ever seen in a multi-ingredient supplement (see link). I've had good results with Taurine. On the pharmaceutical side I find Deprenyl to be highly effective, as well as Modafinil on occasion. I just started on Lion's Mane Mushroom, which looks very promising. See the second link for a discussion and info on it at an alzheimer's board.
By albedo - 4/17/2011 3:24:34 AM
Not using Deprenyl yet but find Piracetam, Cognitex and DMAE quite effective, probably in that order.
By LouD - 4/17/2011 3:26:32 AM
Having tried nootropics and most of the supplements mentioned, I'd put PQQ first.
By Will Brink - 4/18/2011 6:43:50 AM
I'd add  creatine as a nutrient that appears to have cognitive benefits and neuro protection. From article on LEF main site:

Creatine Improves Brain Function

Perhaps the most compelling case for creatine supplementation is its ability to modulate brain function and metabolism. Previous articles in Life Extension have examined some of creatine’s applications in promoting muscle, brain, and heart health.1,2 Ongoing research indicates that creatine is an important nutrient for brain function and metabolism in both healthy people and those who suffer from brain damage or brain-related disease. Traumatic brain injuries affect thousands each year. Adding to this tragedy is that much of the damage is caused not by the immediate injury to the brain, but by cell death caused by ischemia (lack of blood flow and oxygen to tissues), free radical damage, and oxidative stress.

A cell’s ability to function is directly related to its mitochondrial health and ATP status. Even small changes in ATP supply can have profound effects on the tissues’ ability to function properly. Heart tissue, brain neurons, and other highly active tissues are very sensitive to diminished ATP levels. Creatine appears to be among the most effective nutritional supplements for maintaining or raising ATP levels.

Recent research indicates that creatine affords the human nervous system significant protection against ischemic and oxidative insults.43-56 A study published in the Annals of Neurology examined creatine’s effects on brain tissue damage following simulated traumatic brain injury in animals.57 Administration of creatine ameliorated the extent of cortical damage by as much as 36% in mice and 50% in rats. The researchers noted that this protection may be tied to creatine-induced maintenance of mitochondrial bioenergetics. They concluded that creatine “. . . may provide clues to the mechanisms responsible for neuronal loss after traumatic brain injury and may find use as a neuroprotective agent against acute and delayed neurodegenerative processes.” This study suggests that creatine therapy should be initiated as soon as possible after traumatic brain injury. People who have already been using creatine regularly may be afforded considerable protection against additional brain damage following such an injury.

Research also indicates that creatine improves brain function in healthy adults. A recent double-blind, placebo-controlled crossover study examined how six weeks of creatine supplementation affected cognitive function in adult vegetarians.58 Subjects were given five grams of creatine daily. Following creatine supplementation, the study participants demonstrated improved scores on tests assessing intelligence and working memory. Creatine’s effects may be due to its ability to increase the cellular energy available to the brain. Although creatine supplementation may have a less dramatic effect on non-vegetarians who obtain some creatine from dietary sources such as meat, it is likely that creatine benefits brain function in meat eaters and vegetarians. Supplemental creatine thus appears to improve function and performance in healthy and injured brains alike.


Anti Aging Benefits Of Creatine

By LouD - 4/19/2011 11:17:38 AM
I usually take 1gm of creatine a day, but after reading the above post about "Creatine Improves Brain Function," I tried upping it to 5gm and it threw me for a loop. I couldn't stay awake during the day, and then slept for ten hours, which is much longer than normal for me. I don't think I'll try that again.

By nycnite - 4/21/2011 6:01:23 AM
Consumption of cocoa flavanols results in acute improvements in mood and cognitive performance during sustained mental effort


Cocoa flavanols (CF) positively influence physiological processes in ways that suggest their consumption may improve aspects of cognitive function. This study investigated the acute cognitive and subjective effects of CF consumption during sustained mental demand. In this randomized, controlled, double-blinded, balanced, three period crossover trial 30 healthy adults consumed drinks containing 520 mg, 994 mg CF and a matched control, with a three-day washout between drinks. Assessments included the state anxiety inventory and repeated 10-min cycles of a Cognitive Demand Battery comprising of two serial subtraction tasks (Serial Threes and Serial Sevens), a Rapid Visual Information Processing (RVIP) task and a ‘mental fatigue’ scale, over the course of 1 h. Consumption of both 520 mg and 994 mg CF significantly improved Serial Threes performance. The 994 mg CF beverage significantly speeded RVIP responses but also resulted in more errors during Serial Sevens. Increases in self-reported ‘mental fatigue’ were significantly attenuated by the consumption of the 520 mg CF beverage only. This is the first report of acute cognitive improvements following CF consumption in healthy adults. While the mechanisms underlying the effects are unknown they may be related to known effects of CF on endothelial function and blood flow.
By kathiepeterson - 5/8/2011 9:28:11 PM
i take omega 3 fatty acids from fish oil caps daily. it has helped me tremendously. i'm a mother of two and in my late 30s and because i juggle a lot of things at once i tend to be very forgetful. so i'm taking fish oil supplements because i've done my research and it has been said that it helps boost brain activity.

so far i haven't forgotten items on the grocery list or the sked for my daughter's soccer practice or carpooling rotations. whew! can you say that i'm exhausted? LOL!

By DDye - 5/9/2011 4:29:11 AM
Welcome, Kathie, and thank you for your contribution. 

D Dye
By kathiepeterson - 5/9/2011 5:21:55 PM
Thank you, D Dye!

I've been told that Gingko Biloba is also a great brain vitamin but fish oil is doing so well for me because of my heart condition, hypertension, and dry eyes. Talk about hitting three birds with one stone! BigGrin About the contaminated fish scare, I've read extensively about fish oil caps and learned that they are safe because the best fish oil manufacturers have the oils molecularly distilled to ensure safety.
Smile That study calmed my nerves a lot.
By albedo - 5/29/2011 12:36:11 AM
I wonder if someone can comment on centrophenoxine vs DMAE supplementation for prevention. Centrophenoxine's mechanism of action seems not clear and I assume its (cognitive) benefits are due to the DMAE content (e.g. raising phosphatidylcholine levels in the brain). Is it worth to complement DMAE with Centrophenoxine? I am personally already taking low doses of DMAE with other cognitive boosters. Maybe we can take Centrophenoxine to slow lipofuscin build up also in tissues other than the brain (e.g. heart)?
By albedo - 6/6/2011 4:04:52 AM
A nice review of centrophenoxine/DMAE by

By Tom. - 6/10/2011 4:14:13 AM
Amino Acids. 2011 May;40(5):1297-303. Epub 2011 Mar 10.

Creatine in mouse models of neurodegeneration and aging.

Klopstock T, Elstnr M, Bender A.


Department of Neurology, Friedrich-Baur-Institute, University of Munich, Ziemssenstrasse 1, Munich, Germany.


The supplementation of creatine has shown a marked neuroprotective effect in mouse models of neurodegenerative diseases (Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis). This has been assigned to the known bioenergetic, anti-apoptotic, anti-excitotoxic and anti-oxidant properties of creatine. As aging and neurodegeneration share pathophysiological pathways, we investigated the effect of oral creatine supplementation on aging in 162 aged wild-type C57Bl/6J mice. The median healthy life span of creatine-fed mice was 9% higher than in their control littermates, and they performed significantly better in neurobehavioral tests. In brains of creatine-treated mice, there was a trend toward a reduction of reactive oxygen species and significantly lower accumulation of the "aging pigment" lipofuscin. Expression profiling showed an upregulation of genes implicated in neuronal growth, neuroprotection, and learning. These data showed that creatine improves health and longevity in mice. Creatine may, therefore, be a promising food supplement to promote healthy human aging.

However, the strong neuroprotective effects in animal studies of creatine have not been reproduced in human clinical trials (that have been conducted in Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis). The reasons for this translational gap are discussed. One obvious cause seems to be that all previous human studies may have been underpowered. Large phase III trials over long time periods are currently being conducted for Parkinson's disease and Huntington's disease, and will possibly solve this issue.
By satnex - 6/10/2011 5:30:54 AM
Is cognitive problems caused by antipsychotic like risperidone and lithium reversible? What duration of such medications beyond which such side effects are not reversible- 2/4/6 years?
By Transpower - 7/4/2011 6:54:18 AM
DMAE is the only known supplement to increase IQ.  I take 125 mg/day, in the morning.  If I'm on a long drive, I take 250 mg every four hours--it helps with "vigilance."  DMAE also helps with mood.
By Robert M - 7/17/2011 1:19:04 PM
Dear All,

For anyone taking certain brain-boosting suppliments or nootropics, three tips.

1. Eat a very healthy diet high in raw fruits, vegetables and oily fish.

I view my brain repair / optimisation as a pyramid, as such, it requires a solid foundation.

2. Cognitex.

It contains nutrients that fuel and nourish the brain such as a form of choline and phosphatidylserine.

3. Hydergine.

This is THE nootropic. Neuroprotective, granting lucidity of thought and working synergistically to enhance other nootropics. If you have not tried it then give yourself a gift.
By satnex - 9/29/2011 11:24:23 PM
Can any one reply to this ques: Can cognitive problems caused by antipsychotic like risperidone (ADHD, slow processing speed, low working memory)and lithium(dyslexia, restlessness, immediate and long term memory loss) be reversed? I was taking these medications for 4 years. Now I 've stopped them still now side-effects of those drugs not gone so that I can say I have become normal wrt those cognitive parameters.
By Transpower - 9/30/2011 5:19:26 AM
7-Keto DHEA greatly helps memory recall.  To get this effect, you need to take approx. 150 mg/day, first thing in the morning.
By Tom. - 10/27/2011 8:33:34 PM
I've just ordered from Europe a month's supply of a combination product called: Get Smart™  

I'm going to give it a month and see what the results are.  it contains the following:

Get Smart is the most advanced brain formula designed to improve Memory, Learning ability, and
Concentration while inducing a positive Mood and sense of well-being. Each ingredient in Get Smart
is known to have a positive effect on brain function and performance.

Centrophenoxine raises brain Acetylcholine levels thereby increasing Alertness, Attention Span,
and Learning Ability. It also increases cell lifespan by removing aging pigment (Lipofuscin) from brain
cells and the skin..

Aniracetam and Oxiracetam are nootropics that improve communication between the two
hemispheres of the brain.

Pyritinol increases Acetylcholine production and may improve Memory, Alertness, and Concentration.
It has been used in Europe since 1961 for various cognitive conditions such as Dementia, Head Injury,
and brain circulatory disorders.

Picamilon is a Russian nootropic that increases circulation to the brain. Picamilon is very effective in
reducing Stress Levels and Calming the mind to help focus attention. Picamilon is used in Russia to
treat anxiety, depression, and headaches.

Vinpocetine is a periwinkle plant extract that increases Blood Flow to the brain. Vinpocetine has been
extensively researched by the European pharmaceutical company Gedeon-Richter which found that
Vinpocetine improves the brain's utilization of glucose, the brain's main energy source.

Huperzine A (Huperzia serrata) is an ingredient found in Chinese club moss that extends the life of
Acetylcholine, the brain neurotransmitter necessary for Learning and Memory.

LEF writes about the positive effects of Pyritinol and Picamllon ... HERE

You can read my assessment of this product HERE
By rdmccur - 10/29/2011 3:24:30 PM
Googled 'get smart' without success. How did you find out where to get it?
By Ross7755 - 10/30/2011 4:37:21 AM
Try this link for Get Smart....
By Tom. - 10/30/2011 4:39:52 PM
You can order hard to find, anti-aging supplements > HERE & HERE

I found out about these two companies from LEF some years ago.

By docholiday - 11/1/2011 4:51:40 AM
Any thoughts on Cognitex Basics?  I just bought a couple bottles at LEF.  I have been using the regular Cognitex with Pregnenolone for the past 4 months, but it's almost twice as expensive, so I downgraded this month to try and trim some costs.  It seems to have the 2 main active ingredients in regular Cognitex (Choline and Phos.), without the Vinpocetine, etc that some on this site seem to be questioning the effectiveness of anyway. 
By tinschip - 11/5/2011 9:58:41 AM
You can order Magnesium L-threonate.
By Tom. - 11/13/2011 8:32:36 AM
My personal efficacy assessment of the nootropic / smart drug: Get Smart™.

This my two-week report regarding my original post

I'm editing this post down to the basics.  Just for the record, my cognative function is normal.  I''m taking it to test and see if there is any improvement.

Results after 2 weeks:

The product works as advertised.  Memory, concentration, focus is enhanced.  A marked increase in the ability to put ideas into words and pictures. Slight positive mood elevation. Quality of sleep is improved.  The product does not induce a jittery, hyperactive, or stimulated feeling. All results feel natural.
By MrGeorge - 11/14/2011 4:43:07 AM
That Get Smart looks good, I may give it a try. Those ingredients have been around for quite awhile.

Back around 1990 there were 2 books I read, not sure of the names, something like "Brain Boosters and Smart Drugs" IIRC(if I recall correctly). One thing I remembered was that they need choline, the theory back then was that the improved metabolism used this up and would cannibalize brain cells to find it( I think , in particular, they were talking about piracetam and choline). I guess DMAE might be of some help, not sure, but just something to consider.
By Tom. - 11/14/2011 5:54:23 AM
MrGeorge (11/14/2011)
That Get Smart looks good, I may give it a try. Those ingredients have been around for quite awhile.

Back around 1990 there were 2 books I read, not sure of the names, something like "Brain Boosters and Smart Drugs" IIRC(if I recall correctly). One thing I remembered was that they need choline, the theory back then was that the improved metabolism used this up and would cannibalize brain cells to find it( I think , in particular, they were talking about piracetam and choline). I guess DMAE might be of some help, not sure, but just something to consider.

Thanks for that. Supposedly the centrophenoxine, an ester of DMAE, raises brain acetylcholine levels, so if that's true it might help balance that.
By Roland - 11/26/2011 3:07:20 PM
good information
By Tinacarlinismith - 1/24/2012 7:59:12 PM
I am finding that my cancer medication, which is an estrogen blocker, is causing me extreme memory loss.  I am 47 years old and my short term memory is horrible now from the Aromosin.  I am not so sure my mother actually had Alzheimer Disease anymore.  I think it was the Tamoxifin.  Unless the Tamoxifin caused the Alzheimer Disease?  Either way I am surviving cancer but I can't remember anything anymore Ermm
By DDye - 1/25/2012 5:13:01 AM
Welcome to the Forums, Tina.

Many women experience the same challenge before and during menopause.  It has not been established that a drop in estrogen can cause Alzheimer's disease but it certainly can cause or increase cognitive dysfunction.  Women's complaints in this area had been ignored until recently.  Oddly enough, female hormone replacement therapy was linked with an increased risk of dementia in a major study, however, the women were using synthetic hormones

Dr Braverman has some interesting information at  This book may also be of interest.

Additionally, see

D Dye
By Trev Aussie - 2/27/2012 2:14:47 PM
I and many of my friends have found that taking 'Product B' has improved our mental clarity and cognitive abaility. It is a supplement containing 30 different plant extracts, some of which have proven to be Telomerase Activators in vitro.

Watch  and see what Dr Ronald DePinho of the Harvard Medical Schoolhas to say regarding ‘Tissues have a Point of Return’ by clickingon

Tosee just a few of the amazing changes being reported by people consuming Product B click on the followinglinks :  

Norman, an Alzheimers sufferer, click :

           Dr. John, a Doctor,and others click :

As Dr DePinho predicted, it  seems that certain degenerated tissues in humans, including neurones, also have the ability to regenerate once the Telomeres are lengthened.
By Ph.T - 5/14/2012 11:03:15 AM
. Satyanarayanan asks about brain repair
after being on long-term anti-psychotics .
. these medications work by inhibiting dopamine function,
and atrophying the brain cells that make dopamine .
. the key is to find dopamine enhancers,
and anything that "(exacerbates schizophrenia)
and then anything that promotes neurite growth .
. I'm combining mct, blueberry extract,
and LE fishoil with DMAE for neurite growth .
. yohimbine extract promotes dopamine use,
and L-dopa (Mucuna Pruriens extract)
promotes dopamine production .
. you may have a lot of research ahead of you:
beware high blood pressure, etc .
. if I think of anything else for attention deficit,
I'll be putting them on my performance enhancers list.
By Kiri12 - 10/25/2012 7:08:07 PM
Hi Spectator just read your info above regarding brain Cognitive Damage from Anti psychotics. My brother was taking 100-800mg of Seroquel for 4 years and now has Parkisonia paralysis he has the gait aka shuffling walk, facial expressions gone, torso up high and shoulders forward his posture is stiff. Also severe cognitive issues can't learn new things, flat, has major short term memory loss but can remember everything since we were kids. He's off the Seroquel facial expression coming back but cognitive that same. He's only 45 and is bipolar always bounced back quickly after an episode using 1200 lithium and an antipsychotic but would and could drop the antipsychotic within 3 months. He'd also drop the lithium with no side effects after being on it for a year or two.. Yes he was manic but was very successful. His last episode he hasn't bounced back I believe it's due to not being monitored on the Seroquel, he had agathesia and was walking miles upon miles his Doc kept upping his Seroquel!?!? Thinking he was manic??? I wish his mania would come back!!! Your post gave me hope and makes sense. Can you give me milligrams of what to take? Also was thinking of putting him on Truehope EMPower+ does anybody have experience with these micronutrients?? My brother is on 1200 lithium and 10 olazipine (yes I know Olazipine is being dropped) but he gets paranoid without it and non compliant ( any suggestions would be greatly appreciated) thank you
By Galations220 - 4/12/2014 11:17:43 AM
I have a 2 year old with a chromosome deletion( There is some cognitive side effects) and this is something I have been researching quite a bit.  it is next to impossible to get any good idea on dosages or ratio though.

Three nutrients I see most often are

DHA (Fish oil)
Choline (usually Choline bitartrate or lethecin)
Uridine - No natural source available that is also bioavailable(liver doesnt destroy it) - not as well know as the other 2.

citicoline is a mix of the last 2, but at a really low percentage of what might be effective.

see here for percentages

Dr.Weil says toddlers need minium of 200 mg of choline

so if citicoline is only 18.5 % choline, you need to take 1100 mg of citicoline if a toddler. 

This is something I havent paid close attention to until now.  

So if a bottle says 250 mg of choline from choline bitartrate, i wonder if they have already done the percentage calculation

Is anyone else supplementing with these 3 nutrients?  If so, what dosage and what sources are you getting it from?

Im thinking fish pill + choline(choline bitartrate)/insolitol mix + uridine supplement. 
By Transpower - 4/13/2014 5:37:57 PM
Many of us here started heavy supplementation after age 35, and so supplementation for a two-year old would seem quite unusual to us.  As a member of LEF, you could contact LEF's naturopaths, for free, to get their opinion as what to do.
By fb02521 - 12/13/2014 4:22:45 PM
Best IQ supplement I have found:

My internet chess score e.g. without the supplement is 1300, with 1400 or better.  Seems to improve concentrative abililties:

Exact dosage:

20 mg B6
3g L-Tyrosine
1g Phosphatidylcholine
200 mg. DMAE

take all together, once per day.
By Tom. - 12/20/2014 6:32:48 PM

Please keep in mind that nootropics, or otherwise referred to as smart drugs, memory enhancers, neuro enhancers, cognitive enhancers, and intelligence enhancers, brain boosters, etc., etc., can enhance brain function AND ones mood or emotional state.

That said, if you're feeling stressed, sad, lonely, despondent, angry etc., etc., or have been diagnosed with clinical depression do not take nootropics as these compounds can enhance such negative feelings. 

With bipolar disorder, or manic depression, nootropics can enhance; impaired judgment, irrational behavior, lowered inhibitions, delusions of grandeur, hallucinations, paranoia, hypersexuality, and other such behaviors of mania.

Additionally, nootropics can cause is a state of hypomania.  Hypomania has many of the clinical symptoms of bipolar mania but to a lesser extent.  With nootropic induced hypomania, one may experience excessive energy, excitement or aggression, lack of sleep, unusual exhilaration, irritability, etc.  This can occur spontaneously from just the use of a nootropic without any connection to events in one's life, or symptoms of psychosis.

Lastly, in some people, nootropics can produce or enhance a state of apathy, or a state of being emotionless. Those with autism or on the spectrum  should use caution or avoid use.

Please be aware of these adverse side effects and if you experience them immediately discontinue product use.

By Alan4648 - 12/24/2014 9:58:45 AM
Per Tom., to quote:

"Vinpocetine is a periwinkle plant extract that increases Blood Flow to the brain. Vinpocetine has been
extensively researched by the European pharmaceutical company Gedeon-Richter which found that
Vinpocetine improves the brain's utilization of glucose, the brain's main energy source."

Actually I recall pictures of a brain scan before and after the administration of Vinpocetine.  In effect, it looks like someone turns the lights on!

That appears to be visual confirmation and as I have also 'felt' some of some effects (like an increase in spontaneous new ideas formation, a cognitive increase in drive to create,...), no doubt in my mind (literally also).
By MrGeorge - 1/5/2015 4:21:26 PM
I found that Asian Energy Boost works well with me.

Recently I've read that some are getting a good result from lutein. I looked at this some and found:

I have an order on the way so will see if there's anything to it, it will help with the eyes regardless so it won't be wasted.
By MrGeorge - 1/15/2015 4:45:24 AM
After going to new cell research site to buy some Niagen I noticed they had a product called Ceristim.

It is supposed to increase focus, I guess a brain booster.

After two days of the recommended dosage, nothing noticeable at all. Both times I sat down and waited for any kind of effect. After an hour I concluded that the recommended dosage was not a help for my system.