The pronunciation of the word is the source of a lot of confusion, but this is by far the most current way to say is because the word origin is Greek noos 'mind' + -tropic 'affecting' literally translating to "mind affecting."
Nootropic is a term for a class of psychoactive supplements or "smart drugs" that occur both naturally, and manmade.
In order to be a nootropic, a substance must meet five criteria set by Dr. Corneliu E. Giurgea, a Romanian psychologist, and chemist who coined the term “nootropic” in 1972.
5 Criteria For Nootropics...
- Enhance memory and ability to learn.
- Help the brain function under disruptive conditions.
- Possess few or no side effects and be virtually non-toxic
- Increase the efficacy of neuronal firing control mechanisms,
- Protect the brain from chemical and physical assaults from anti-cholinergic drugs or barbiturates.
The most commonly used class of nootropics are stimulants, such as caffeine or even nicotine. There are only a few drugs that have been well studied to improve some aspect of cognition, but research is always ongoing and new smart drugs are being developed all the time.
These smart drugs are used primarily to treat cognitive or motor function difficulties in disorders such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, Narcolepsy and ADHD. Despite concern for further research in these areas researchers, report more widespread use for these drugs such as a simple study aid.
Effective marketing tactics and bold claims may not correlate with effective drugs. It is these claims that cause many myths about nootropics. Reddit user Metacognition does an excellent job explaining these common myths as follows:
Myth 1: Adderall is a potent cognitive enhancer.
Adderall has powerful effects on concentration, but its cognitive effects appear to be small and may actually impair already high-performing individuals on complex cognitive tasks.
Myth 2: Nootropics are like the drug NZT-48 from the movie Limitless.
Nootropics are much less powerful than what's depicted in the movie. They may give you an edge. They won't completely change your life and allow you do solve algorithms in your head.
Learn how to turn your coffee into a nootropic to get more of an edge here => Get The Edge