Long-term safety of 'smart drugs' unknown

- Nootropics, commonly referred to as smart or brain drugs, are supplements intended to increase brain function and memory. As they become more popular, new questions are being asked about their effectiveness and just how safe they are.

Many are available online. They are advertised as all-natural supplements ready to increase brain performance, focus, memory, and all things mental.

Nootropics -- neurotransmitter boosters -- and the tantalizing possibility of simply being a more efficient human are becoming more and more popular in fast-paced fields like finance and tech startups.

Dr. Alan Manevitz is a clinical psychiatrist with Lennox Hill. He says scientific studies show that certain compounds are helpful. But he says there is a catch, a potentially dangerous unknown: we don't have any long-term data on the safety of the use of these drugs.

Pills like these aren't regulated by the FDA because they're often advertised as supplements.

So will these vitamins for the brain transform you into a cognitive multi-millionaire overnight? Probably not.

Still, they remain an intriguing and popular option. A Reddit thread dedicated to nootropics has more than 50,000 followers.

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