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What is Alzheimer's Disease and How Does It Link to Nootropics?

Alzheimer’s disease is a neuro-degenerative disease that affects millions of people worldwide. Alzheimer’s is a form of dementia, which means the loss of mental abilities.[1]

While there is no cure for Alzheimer’s, modern treatment plans include a number of promising therapies. Some treatments for Alzheimer's symptoms are called cholinesterase inhibitors. These substances allow more choline in the brain, which helps with cognition and memory. [2]

Most Nootropics qualify as dietary supplements, and these Nootropics may be beneficial in maintaining healthy brain function. Some Nootropics have the potential to improve memory and brain power.[3]

The Symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease

Alzheimer's disease and Nootropics Alzheimer's mostly affects the elderly

The symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease include the following ten main symptoms:


  1. Memory loss, to the point that it disrupts your daily life
  2. Difficulty in concentration and ‘keeping track’
  3. Finding it difficult to do usual tasks like driving or cleaning
  4. Confusion about time and date, and forgetting where you are
  5. Vision problems – difficulty in reading or judging distance
  6. Difficulty with conversations
  7. Frequently misplacing objects and being unable to retrace your steps
  8. Poor judgment and decision-making, difficulty in maintaining hygiene
  9. Social withdrawal
  10. Mood changes, becoming unusually suspicious, confused or depressed[4]


Experiencing one or two of these symptoms could indicate the onset of Alzheimer’s. If you or somebody you know is experiencing these symptoms, make a booking with a physician.


The Causes of Alzheimer’s disease


Alzheimer’s disease occurs when parts of the brain begin to shrink. We still haven't discovered exactly what it is that causes the shrinking to start.

Alzheimer's disease and Nootropics Alzheimer's disease is caused by shrinking and decay in the brain


However, scientists have found a number of traits in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s. These traits include irregular protein deposits and imbalances in a brain chemical called acetylcholine.[5]


The Stages of Alzheimer’s

You can split the progression of Alzheimer's disease into five separate stages.


Stage 1: Preclinical stage

The preclinical stage is the stage before a diagnosis has been made. Genetics and lifestyle factors influence the preclinical stage.


Stage 2: Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI)

You experience small errors like confusing time, misplacing objects or having difficulty with common judgments.


Stage 3: Mild dementia

The symptoms of mild dementia include having difficulty remembering recent events, difficulty solving problems, and becoming socially withdrawn.[6]


Stage 4: Moderate dementia

At this stage, people are prone to wandering and forgetting long and short-term memories, and require more assistance with living.


Stage 5: Severe dementia

The late stage of Alzheimer’s disease is the most debilitating. People begin to lose the ability to communicate, and require assistance with all aspects of daily life.[7]


Alzheimer’s disease risk factors

Alzheimer's disease and Nootropics A healthy diet reduces your risk of Alzheimer's

According to the Alzheimer’s Australia organization, there are six risk factors for developing Alzheimer’s.

  1. Cardiovascular risk factors – heart disease, high blood pressure, and smoking
  2. High cholesterol – high cholesterol can cause Alzheimer's
  3. High homocysteine – Dietary vitamin B and folate can reduce homocysteine levels
  4. Genetics – People with Alzheimer's disease often have apolipoprotein E (ApoE) mutations
  5. Family history – A family history of Alzheimer’s increases your risk
  6. Head injury – Significant head injuries contribute to developing Alzheimer’s.[8]

Another risk factor that has recently been discovered is the over-consumption of red meat. Scientists have found that the increase in iron associated with red meat consumption may be linked to the onset of Alzheimer’s.[9]


Common treatments for Alzheimer’s


There is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease. Modern pharmaceuticals can be used to manage the symptoms.

Alzheimer's disease and Nootropics Strong friendships reduce the risk of Alzheimer's


Cholinesterase inhibitors are used to prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine. Acetylcholine is a neurotransmitter known as the ‘learning molecule’. It is vital for proper cognition.[10]


Another pharmaceutical focuses on a separate system in the brain, and it is effective at treating some of the symptoms of cognitive decline.[11]


Alzheimer’s disease and Nootropics


Nootropics are supplements used to improve cognition and boost memory. These are all relatively new compounds with limited studies.[12]

These supplements can not cure Alzheimer's and have not been approved for use in any illness or disease by the FDA. This article is purely intended to enlighten people who are asking about Alzheimer's disease and Nootropics.


1.   Piracetam


Piracetam is the father of Nootropics, and the most highly researched. Piracetam is effective at improving memory and cognition in older people and people with dementia. [13]


This Nootropic was developed in Belgium in the 1960s, where it was found to be highly beneficial. Many studies have indicated Piracetam’s strength as a cognitive booster and memory enhancer. These effects are especially pronounced in elderly people and people suffering from cognitive impairments.[14] [15]


Since the invention of piracetam, a number of newer Nootropics have been developed. Most importantly, Phenylpiracetam. The phenyl group on phenylpiracetam allows it to cross the blood-brain barrier with more ease than piracetam. It then delivers a much stronger cognitive boost than piracetam. It may be beneficial in maintaining healthy brain function. [16] [17]


2.     Noopept


Noopept is a stronger, “buffed up” version of piracetam.[18] Noopept has been studied quite extensively for its memory enhancing and neuroprotective effects. To date, these have all been animal studies.

take noopept Liftmode Noopept: 99%+ pure!


Noopept has shown the potential to increase memory and cognition in animal studies. However, more studies are needed to establish whether or not it would be an effective dietary supplement for maintaining a healthy brain in humans.[19] [20]


3.     Huperzine A


Huperzine A is an acetylcholine-esterase inhibitor. This means that it prevents the breakdown of acetylcholine, the 'learning transmitter'. It also has strong neuroprotective effects and is highly stimulating.[21]


However, as two meta-analyses have concluded, there is a vast gap of knowledge between current research and potentially using Huperzine A as a treatment for any symptoms of any illnesses.


Therefore, you can take Huperzine A as a dietary supplement that may help boost learning, memory, and cognition with minimal side-effects.[22]


4.     Choline bitartrate


Alzheimer's disease and Nootropics Choline is a vital nutrient and helps your brain to function correctly

We can find choline in our diet and it is essential for the production of acetylcholine. Choline is mostly found in shrimp, eggs, and chicken.[23]


Also, if you supplement with high doses of choline, your brain will produce more acetylcholine. Doses of around 1 - 2 grams of choline are good for improving general cognition.[24]


Firstly, an article on MIT news explains a clinical study conducted there, where patients with degenerative diseases were given choline as a supplement with uridine and omega-3. This supplement mix was effective at improving the patients' memory. [25]


Secondly, another clinical study was done using choline on humans. It also found that choline supplementation was effective at boosting memory and improving cognitive performance. [26]


These studies may point to the potential benefits of choline being used as a dietary supplement to maintain a healthy brain.


How you can avoid Alzheimer’s


Unfortunately, if you have the genetic mutation for early-onset Alzheimer’s, you are guaranteed to get it. There are other genetic factors which play a role and these, along with aging, cannot be altered.


However, there are other risk factors that can be addressed. Firstly, as many as 80 percent of patients with Alzheimer’s disease also have heart disease. Reducing your risks of cardiovascular disease may also reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s.

Alzheimer's disease and Nootropics Exercising and maintaining a healthy lifestyle reduces your risk of developing Alzheimer's


Secondly, you can reduce your risk of Alzheimer's by maintaining a healthy diet and exercising often.


Thirdly, research has found that strong social connections and keeping mentally active may also reduce your risks of developing Alzheimer’s.


Lastly, reducing your risk of significant head trauma also reduces your risk of Alzheimer’s and dementia. Wear a helmet when cycling and a seatbelt at all times.[27]




Liftmode.com does not advocate using supplements over physician prescribed pharmaceuticals. Alzheimer’s disease and dementia are serious, life-changing diseases which require the help of medication, physicians and care takers.


Some Nootropics also qualify as dietary supplements, which may have the potential to help with maintaining a healthy brain.


In conclusion, Piracetam derivates like Noopept and Phenylpiracetam may provide neuroprotective and cognitive enhancing effects. Huperzine A is a cholinesterase inhibitor with additional effects of neuroprotection and stimulation. Choline supplements may help to produce more acetylcholine.


Above all, reduce your risk factors by living a healthy life with strong social connections.




[1] Markus MacGill, Alzheimer's Disease: Causes, Symptoms and Treatments, MedicalNewsToday.com, available from http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/159442.php, retrieved on July 14, 2016

[2] Current Alzheimer's Treatments, Alzheimer’s Association, alz.org, available from


[3] Tatiana A. Voronina, Nootropic Drugs in Alzheimer Disease Treatment. New Pharmacological Strategies, from the book Advances in Alzheimer Disease Therapy, 1994, available from http://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007%2F978-1-4615-8149-9_45

[4] 10 Early Signs and Symptoms of Alzheimer's, Alzheimer’s Association, alz.org, available from http://www.alz.org/10-signs-symptoms-alzheimers-dementia.asp, retrieved on July 14, 2016

[5] Causes of Alzheimer's disease, NHS.uk, available from http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Alzheimers-disease/Pages/Causes.aspx, retrieved on July 14, 2016

[6] Alzheimer's stages: How the disease progresses (page 1), MayoClinic.org, available from http://www.mayoclinic.org/alzheimers-stages/art-20048448?pg=1, retrieved on July 14, 2016

[7] Alzheimer's stages: How the disease progresses (page 2), MayoClinic.org, available from http://www.mayoclinic.org/alzheimers-stages/art-20048448?pg=2

[8] Risk Factors, Alzheimer’s Australia, available from https://fightdementia.org.au/about-dementia-and-memory-loss/am-i-at-risk/risk-factors

[9] Christian Nordqvist, Red meat may raise Alzheimer's risk, August 2013, MedicalNewsToday.com, available from  http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/265216.php, retrieved on July 14, 2016

[10] Michael E. Hasselmo, The Role of Acetylcholine in Learning and Memory, Curr Opin Neurobiol. 2006 Dec; 16(6): 710–715. Published online 2006 Sep 29, available from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2659740/

[11] Medications for Memory Loss, Alzheimer’s Association, alz.org, available from  http://www.alz.org/alzheimers_disease_standard_prescriptions.asp, retrieved on July 14, 2016

[12] Nootropics, Examine.com, available from https://examine.com/supplements/nootropic/

[13] Piracetam, Examine.com, available from https://examine.com/supplements/piracetam/

[14] Croisile B et al, Long-term and high-dose piracetam treatment of Alzheimer's disease, Neurology. 1993 Feb;43(2):301-5, available from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8437693

[15] Waegemans T et al, Clinical efficacy of piracetam in cognitive impairment: a meta-analysis, Dement Geriatr Cogn Disord. 2002;13(4):217-24, available from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12006732

[16] Koval'chuk VV et al, [Efficacy of phenotropil in the rehabilitation of stroke patients]., Zh Nevrol Psikhiatr Im S S Korsakova. 2010;110(12 Pt 2):38-40, available from


[17] Malykh AG and Sadaie MR, Piracetam and piracetam-like drugs: from basic science to novel clinical applications to CNS disorders., Drugs. 2010 Feb 12;70(3):287-312, available from  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20166767

[18] Ostrovskaia RU et al, [The original novel nootropic and neuroprotective agent noopept]., Eksp Klin Farmakol. 2002 Sep-Oct;65(5):66-72, available from


[19] Ostrovskaya RU, Belnik AP, and Storozheva ZI, Noopept efficiency in experimental Alzheimer disease (cognitive deficiency caused by beta-amyloid25-35 injection into Meynert basal nuclei of rats)., Bull Exp Biol Med. 2008 Jul;146(1):77-80, available from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19145356

[20] RU Ostrovskaya et al, Neuroprotective effect of novel cognitive enhancer noopept on AD-related cellular model involves the attenuation of apoptosis and tau hyperphosphorylation, J Biomed Sci. 2014; 21(1): 74.

Published online 2014 Aug 6, available from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4422191/ [21] Hai-yan Zhang, New insights into huperzine A for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease, Acta Pharmacologica Sinica (2012) 33: 1170–1175; doi: 10.1038/aps.2012.128; published online 3 Sep 2012, available from http://www.nature.com/aps/journal/v33/n9/full/aps2012128a.html [22] Yang G, Wang Y, Tian J, Liu JP, Huperzine A for Alzheimer's disease: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials., PLoS One. 2013 Sep 23;8(9):e74916. doi: 10.1371, available from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24086396

[23] Choline, World’s Healthiest Foods, whfoods.com, available from http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=nutrient&dbid=50, retrieved on July 14, 2016

[24] Choline, Examine.com, available from https://examine.com/supplements/choline/

[25] Anne Trafton, Nutrient mixture improves memory in patients with early Alzheimer’s, July 9, 2012, MIT News, available from http://news.mit.edu/2012/alzheimers-nutrient-mixture-0709

[26] De Jesus Moreno Moreno M, Cognitive improvement in mild to moderate Alzheimer's dementia after treatment with the acetylcholine precursor choline alfoscerate: a multicenter, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial, Clin Ther. 2003 Jan;25(1):178-93, available from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12637119

[27] Prevention and Risk of Alzheimer's and Dementia, Alzheimer’s Association, alz.org, available from http://www.alz.org/research/science/alzheimers_prevention_and_risk.asp, retrieved on July 14, 2016