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Better Smart Drugs Could Be Coming Thanks To Cognitive-Disease Research

Enhanced Brain.TheDigitalArtist/Pixabay

Consuming a pill or being injected with a drug to enhance cognitive functions is a staple in sci-fi culture that many have been trying to bring to reality for decades. Proponents of the concept of nootropics or so-called “smart drugs” believe that humans can gain an intellectual edge with the right pills. Thanks to research in cognitive disorders, the industry could see a huge boost in research advancements.

In the most recent report by Research and Markets on the nootropics industry, the industry is projected to go from being worth $1.3 billion in 2015 to $6 billion in 2024. A respectable level of growth, but not spectacular by any means.

One of the biggest chains holding back the explosion of popularity of brain-enhancing drugs is the lack of research into the field. Many of the pills or food supplements found in the market are either not supported by scientists or are marketed with non-definitive terms.

As Futurism notes, however, the ongoing research into degenerative brain diseases could change this. One example is the research being done by a professor of psychiatry and molecular medicine at Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell, Todd Lencz.

In the paper published in Cell recently, the researchers detailed how they might have discovered certain secrets involving genetic information that affect cognitive performance. Their findings could have a huge impact on the development of more effective nootropics, although Lencz himself is not convinced.

“It is important to emphasize that our target is enhancing cognitive ability in patients with neurocognitive disorders. If our research is successful over the long-term, we might be able to help millions of such patients in the decades to come,” Lencz told Futurism. “However, it is unlikely that these approaches will have a noticeable effect on the daily lives of healthy people, at least in the foreseeable future.”

As a peer-reviewed study, however, what Lencz and his team uncovered could lead to even more breakthroughs in creating brain-enhancing drugs. With the lack of funding, researchers in the field have no choice but to rely on data from others.

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