8 Best Nootropics For Dementia In 2022

Written on August 2, 2022 by | Reviewed by William Gallagher, MNeuroSci

In this article, I'll take a closer at the 8 best nootropics for dementia. I'll also cover the potential risks and side effects you may run into and the benefits you can expect.

Dementia is one of the most feared diseases in the world. It can rob you of your memories, your independence, and even your life.

While there is no cure for dementia, there are some medications and supplements that can help slow its progression.

In this article, I will take a look at 8 of the best nootropics for dementia in 2022.

So without further ado, let's dive in, shall we?

The best nootropics for dementia in 2022, according to scientific evidence, are:

  • Mind Lab Pro
  • Ginkgo Biloba
  • Rhodiola Rosea
  • Bacopa Monnieri
  • Noopept
  • Piracetam
  • Aniracetam
  • Oxiracetam

1. Mind Lab Pro

Mind Lab Pro is a nootropic supplement that contains 11 different cognitive-enhancing ingredients. One of these ingredients, citicoline, has been shown to be a promising nootropic for improving cognitive impairment such as vascular dementia [1]Gareri, Pietro et al. “The role of citicoline in cognitive impairment: pharmacological characteristics, possible advantages, and doubts for an old drug with new perspectives.” Clinical … Learn more.

Citicoline works by increasing acetylcholine (ACh) levels in the brain. Acetylcholine is a neurotransmitter that plays an important role in memory and learning. Citicoline also provides the building blocks for phospholipids, which are essential for neuronal function and cell membranes [2]Adibhatla, R M et al. “Effects of citicoline on phospholipid and glutathione levels in transient cerebral ischemia.” Stroke vol. 32,10 (2001): 2376-81. doi:10.1161/hs1001.096010.

Mind Lab Pro also contains adaptogens like Rhodiola Rosea and Ashwagandha, which can help reduce stress and improve cognitive function [3]Panossian, Alexander, and Georg Wikman. “Evidence-based efficacy of adaptogens in fatigue, and molecular mechanisms related to their stress-protective activity.” Current clinical pharmacology … Learn more.

Mind Lab Pros

  • 11 nootropic ingredients work together to support cognitive function
  • Protects the brain from age-related damage

Mind Lab Cons

  • Can be a bit pricey
  • Not available in stores

Mind Lab Pro in Summary

Mind Lab Pro is an excellent nootropic supplement for those with dementia or cognitive impairment. It contains ingredients that can help increase ACh levels, protect the brain from damage, and reduce stress.

2. Ginkgo Biloba

Ginkgo Biloba is a popular herbal remedy that has been used for centuries to treat a variety of ailments. More recently, it has been studied for its cognitive-enhancing effects.

It is thought to work by improving blood circulation and reducing inflammation in the brain. This can help protect nerve cells and improve communication between them, leading to improved cognitive function.

One study found that Ginkgo Biloba Extract is effective in people with dementia at 200mg/day for at least 5 months [4]Yuan, Qiuju et al. “Effects of Ginkgo biloba on dementia: An overview of systematic reviews.” Journal of ethnopharmacology vol. 195 (2017): 1-9. doi:10.1016/j.jep.2016.12.005.

Ginkgo Biloba Pros

  • It can improve blood circulation and reduce inflammation in the brain
  • It helps protect nerve cells and improve communication between them

Ginkgo Biloba Cons

  • It may not be effective for everyone
  • May interact with other medications (such as blood thinners)

Gingko Biloba in Summary

Gingko Biloba is an effective nootropic for dementia. It can help improve blood circulation, reduce inflammation, and protect nerve cells. However, it may not work for everyone and may interact with other medications.

3. Rhodiola Rosea

Rhodiola Rosea is an adaptogenic herb that has been used for centuries to treat various conditions.

Rhodiola Rosea has been shown to improve cognitive function in animal models of dementia and Parkinson's disease. The mechanisms by which it does this are not fully understood but may involve reducing inflammation and oxidative stress and increasing levels of key neuroprotective factors.

Additionally, Rhodiola Rosea has been shown to activate the PI3K/Akt pathway, a key regulator of cell survival and synaptic function. This may help protect neurons from damage caused by Aβ peptides and other pathogenic factors associated with Alzheimer's disease and dementia [5]Wang, Hualong et al. “Neuroprotective Effects of Salidroside in a Mouse Model of Alzheimer's Disease.” Cellular and molecular neurobiology vol. 40,7 (2020): 1133-1142. … Learn more.

Wang, Hualong et al. also found that salidroside, which is the active compound in Rhodiola Rosea, protects neurons against Aβ-induced neurotoxicity. It was also shown to improve locomotor activity in the APP/PS1 mice. Salidroside exerts its protective effects by activating the PI3K/Akt targets of the mTOR cell signaling pathway [6]Hemmings, Brian A, and David F Restuccia. “PI3K-PKB/Akt pathway.” Cold Spring Harbor perspectives in biology vol. 4,9 a011189. 1 Sep. 2012, doi:10.1101/cshperspect.a011189.

Rhodiola Rosea Pros

  • Shown to improve cognitive function in animal models of dementia and Parkinson's disease
  • Reduces inflammation and oxidative stress
  • Activates the PI3K/Akt pathway

Rhodiola Rosea Cons

  • Most of the data on Rhodiola Rosea's efficacy is from animal studies

Rhodiola Rosea in Summary

Rhodiola Rosea is an adaptogenic herb that has shown promise in treating dementia and cognitive impairment. It works by reducing inflammation and oxidative stress, increasing levels of key neuroprotective factors and activating the PI3K/Akt pathway, a key regulator of cell survival and synaptic function.

4. Bacopa Monnieri

Bacopa Monnieri, also known as Brahmi, is a plant that has been used for centuries in Ayurvedic medicine to treat various conditions.

More recently, it has been studied for its cognitive-enhancing effects. Bacopa Monnieri is thought to work by increasing levels of the neurotransmitters acetylcholine (ACh) and serotonin [7]Aguiar, Sebastian, and Thomas Borowski. “Neuropharmacological review of the nootropic herb Bacopa monnieri.” Rejuvenation research vol. 16,4 (2013): 313-26. doi:10.1089/rej.2013.1431 which are involved in memory and learning.

According to a double-blind, randomized, placebo control study, Brahmi significantly affected memory retention. Specifically, it seemed to decrease the rate of forgetting newly acquired information.

The study also found that Brahmi had no effect on other areas of memory, such as attention, verbal and visual short-term memory, and the retrieval of pre-experimental knowledge [8]Roodenrys, Steven et al. “Chronic effects of Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri) on human memory.” Neuropsychopharmacology : official publication of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology vol. 27,2 … Learn more.

Thus, Bacopa Monnieri may be effective at improving memory retention in people with cognitive impairment diseases such as Alzheimer's disease and dementia.

Bacopa Monnieri Pros

  • Significantly affects memory retention
  • Decreases the rate of forgetting newly acquired information

Bacopa Monnieri Cons

  • May not be effective at improving other areas of memory

Bacopa Monnieri in Summary

The plant Bacopa Monnieri has been used for centuries in Ayurvedic medicine to treat various conditions such as cognitive impairment. It is thought to work by increasing levels of the neurotransmitters acetylcholine (ACh) and serotonin, which are involved in memory and learning.

5. Noopept

Noopept is a cognitive enhancer that was specifically designed as a dipeptide analog of the standard cognition enhancer, piracetam.

According to one study, Noopept was shown to prevent ionic disbalance, excitotoxicity, free radicals, pro-inflammatory cytokines accumulation, and neurotrophin deficit typical for different kinds of brain damage [9]Ostrovskaya, Rita U et al. “Neuroprotective effect of novel cognitive enhancer noopept on AD-related cellular model involves the attenuation of apoptosis and tau hyperphosphorylation.” Journal of … Learn more.

The study provides evidence that novel cognitive enhancer noopept protects PC12 cells against deleterious actions of Aβ through inhibiting oxidative damage and calcium overload and suppressing the mitochondrial apoptotic pathway.

According to Ostrovskaya et al., the neuroprotective properties of Noopept likely include its ability to decrease tau phosphorylation [10]Noble, Wendy et al. “The importance of tau phosphorylation for neurodegenerative diseases.” Frontiers in neurology vol. 4 83. 1 Jul. 2013, doi:10.3389/fneur.2013.00083 and restore the altered morphology of PC12 cells [11]Wiatrak, Benita et al. “PC12 Cell Line: Cell Types, Coating of Culture Vessels, Differentiation and Other Culture Conditions.” Cells vol. 9,4 958. 14 Apr. 2020, doi:10.3390/cells9040958.

Noopept Pros

  • Inhibits oxidative damage and calcium overload
  • Suppresses the mitochondrial apoptotic pathway
  • It helps to decrease tau phosphorylation
  • Restores altered morphology of PC12 cells

Noopept Cons

  • Need more research to support its efficacy

Noopept in Summary

The cognitive enhancer Noopept was specifically designed as a dipeptide analog of the standard cognition enhancer, piracetam. It is thought to work by preventing ionic disbalance, excitotoxicity, free radicals, pro-inflammatory cytokines accumulation, and neurotrophin deficit typical for different kinds of brain damage.

6. Piracetam

Piracetam is a neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) derivative, which modulates neurotransmission in various transmitter systems.

It has neuroprotective and anticonvulsant properties, and improves neuroplasticity. At a vascular level, it appears to reduce erythrocyte adhesion to vascular endothelium, hinder vasospasm, and facilitate microcirculation [12]Winblad, Bengt. “Piracetam: a review of pharmacological properties and clinical uses.” CNS drug reviews vol. 11,2 (2005): 169-82. doi:10.1111/j.1527-3458.2005.tb00268.x.

This diverse range of physiological effects contributes to Piracetam's beneficial effects on cognitive impairment, such as dementia and other neurological disorders.

Piracetam Pros

  • It has neuroprotective and anticonvulsant properties
  • Improves neuroplasticity
  • Reduces erythrocyte adhesion to vascular endothelium
  • Hinders vasospasm
  • Facilitates microcirculation

Piracetam Cons

  • It's hard to get your hands on in some countries

Piracetam in Summary

Piracetam is a derivative of the neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) that has various physiological effects, including restoring cell membrane fluidity. It has neuroprotective and anticonvulsant properties, and improves neuroplasticity. It is used in various clinical indications, including cognitive disorders and dementia.

7. Aniracetam

Aniracetam is a pyrrolidone derivative and cognition enhancer that has been shown to reverse memory deficits in several studies of dementia.

It increases the production of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter involved in memory and learning [13]Spignoli, G, and G Pepeu. “Interactions between oxiracetam, aniracetam and scopolamine on behavior and brain acetylcholine.” Pharmacology, biochemistry, and behavior vol. 27,3 (1987): 491-5. … Learn more. Aniracetam also has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, which may help to protect the brain from damage caused by age-related inflammation and oxidative stress [14]Gabryel, Bozena et al. “Aniracetam attenuates apoptosis of astrocytes subjected to simulated ischemia in vitro.” Neurotoxicology vol. 23,3 (2002): 385-95. doi:10.1016/s0161-813x(02)00084-0.

According to one study, Aniracetam was shown to improve cognitive function in elderly patients with mild to moderate cognitive impairment [15]Senin, U et al. “Aniracetam (Ro 13-5057) in the treatment of senile dementia of Alzheimer type (SDAT): results of a placebo controlled multicentre clinical study.” European … Learn more. The study found that Aniracetam improved psychobehavioural parameters in patients with dementia.

Aniracetam Pros

  • It increases the production of acetylcholine
  • It has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties
  • It improves cognitive function in elderly patients with mild to moderate cognitive impairment

Aniracetam Cons

  • Can be hard to get your hands on in some countries

Aniracetam in Summary

Aniracetam is a nootropic drug that was found to improve cognitive function and symptoms of dementia in elderly patients. The drug works by increasing levels of acetylcholine and serotonin in the brain, which improve cognitive function and help to reduce symptoms of dementia.

8. Oxiracetam

Oxiracetam is a racetam drug that is used for cognitive enhancement. It is believed to work by increasing cholinergic and glutamatergic neurotransmission.

This increases communication efficiency between neurons, leading to improved learning and memory. Oxiracetam has also been found to protect neurons from damage, which may explain its usefulness in treating dementia.

One study found that Oxiracetam was efficacious in treating dementia, with significant improvements seen in neuropsychological test scores and quality of life ratings[16]Bottini, G et al. “Oxiracetam in dementia: a double-blind, placebo-controlled study.” Acta neurologica Scandinavica vol. 86,3 (1992): 237-41. doi:10.1111/j.1600-0404.1992.tb05077.x.

According to the study, Oxiracetam showed a statistically significant improvement in the neuropsychological battery and the quality of life scale compared to placebo. The drug was generally well tolerated.

Oxiracetam Pros

  • Works by increasing cholinergic and glutamatergic neurotransmission
  • It has been found to protect neurons from damage
  • It was found to be efficacious in treating dementia in one study

Oxiracetam Cons

  • More studies are needed to confirm its efficacy
  • Not all online vendors sell it

Oxiracetam in Summary

Oxiracetam is a cognitive enhancer that is used to improve learning and memory. It is believed to protect neurons from damage, making it useful in treating dementia.

What Are the Best Nootropics for Dementia?

The best nootropics for dementia are those that increase levels of acetylcholine and serotonin in the brain. Nootropics that protect neurons from damage are also thought to be useful in treating dementia.

The best nootropics for dementia are:

  1. Mind Lab Pro
  2. Ginkgo Biloba
  3. Rhodiola Rosea
  4. Bacopa Monnieri
  5. Noopept
  6. Piracetam
  7. Aniracetam
  8. Oxiracetam

My recommendation for the best nootropic for dementia is Mind Lab Pro. It is a natural nootropic blend that contains 11 cognitive-enhancing ingredients. Mind Lab Pro improves overall cognitive function making it a great supplement for those suffering from cognitive impairment.

How to Choose the Right Nootropic Supplement for Dementia?

When choosing a nootropic supplement for dementia, it is important to choose one that has been clinically tested and shown to be effective.

Natural adaptogens have the most evidence regarding cognitive enhancement and dementia. Therefore, I recommend choosing a nootropic supplement that contains natural adaptogens such as Bacopa Monnieri, Rhodiola Rosea, and Ginkgo Biloba.

It's also important to choose a supplement that is made by a reputable company, and that contains high-quality ingredients, so you don't end up wasting your money on a poor-quality product.

What Are the Benefits of Nootropics for Dementia?

nootropics-for-dementia

Nootropics offer several benefits for those suffering from dementia.

Nootropics that increase levels of acetylcholine and serotonin in the brain can improve cognitive function and help to reduce symptoms of dementia.

Nootropics that protect neurons from damage are also thought to be useful in treating dementia, as they can help slow the disease's progression.

Overall, the benefits of nootropics for dementia include:

  • Improved cognitive function
  • Reduced symptoms of dementia
  • Slowed progression of the disease

If you want to improve your cognitive function and reduce your risk of dementia, then nootropics may be an excellent option.

What Are the Side Effects of Nootropics for Dementia?

Nootropics are generally well-tolerated and have few side effects.

The most common side effects of nootropics for dementia are mild and include:

  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Dizziness

It's worth noting that the side effects differ from synthetic nootropics to natural nootropics.

Natural nootropics such as Mind Lab Pro are generally considered to be much safer than synthetic nootropics such as Piracetam, as they don't come with the same risks.

If you experience any severe side effects while taking nootropics for dementia, stop taking the supplement and speak to a doctor.

Do Nootropics Really Work for Dementia?

According to science and the available evidence, nootropics can effectively be used as supplements for dementia.

Specifically, nootropics that work to increase levels of acetylcholine and serotonin in the brain and protect neurons from damage are the most effective in treating dementia symptoms.

That being said, dementia is a complex disease, and no supplement will cure it. However, nootropics can help improve cognitive function, slow the progression of the disease, and improve quality of life.

Final Thoughts

If you're looking for a way to improve your cognitive function and reduce your risk of dementia, then nootropics may be a good option for you.

When choosing a nootropic supplement, it's important to choose one that contains natural adaptogens and is made by a reputable company.

Overall, nootropics offer several benefits for those suffering from dementia, including improved cognitive function, reduced symptoms, slowed disease progression, and improved quality of life.

References

References
1Gareri, Pietro et al. “The role of citicoline in cognitive impairment: pharmacological characteristics, possible advantages, and doubts for an old drug with new perspectives.” Clinical interventions in aging vol. 10 1421-9. 3 Sep. 2015, doi:10.2147/CIA.S87886
2Adibhatla, R M et al. “Effects of citicoline on phospholipid and glutathione levels in transient cerebral ischemia.” Stroke vol. 32,10 (2001): 2376-81. doi:10.1161/hs1001.096010
3Panossian, Alexander, and Georg Wikman. “Evidence-based efficacy of adaptogens in fatigue, and molecular mechanisms related to their stress-protective activity.” Current clinical pharmacology vol. 4,3 (2009): 198-219. doi:10.2174/157488409789375311
4Yuan, Qiuju et al. “Effects of Ginkgo biloba on dementia: An overview of systematic reviews.” Journal of ethnopharmacology vol. 195 (2017): 1-9. doi:10.1016/j.jep.2016.12.005
5Wang, Hualong et al. “Neuroprotective Effects of Salidroside in a Mouse Model of Alzheimer's Disease.” Cellular and molecular neurobiology vol. 40,7 (2020): 1133-1142. doi:10.1007/s10571-020-00801-w
6Hemmings, Brian A, and David F Restuccia. “PI3K-PKB/Akt pathway.” Cold Spring Harbor perspectives in biology vol. 4,9 a011189. 1 Sep. 2012, doi:10.1101/cshperspect.a011189
7Aguiar, Sebastian, and Thomas Borowski. “Neuropharmacological review of the nootropic herb Bacopa monnieri.” Rejuvenation research vol. 16,4 (2013): 313-26. doi:10.1089/rej.2013.1431
8Roodenrys, Steven et al. “Chronic effects of Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri) on human memory.” Neuropsychopharmacology : official publication of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology vol. 27,2 (2002): 279-81. doi:10.1016/S0893-133X(01)00419-5
9Ostrovskaya, Rita U et al. “Neuroprotective effect of novel cognitive enhancer noopept on AD-related cellular model involves the attenuation of apoptosis and tau hyperphosphorylation.” Journal of biomedical science vol. 21,1 74. 6 Aug. 2014, doi:10.1186/s12929-014-0074-2
10Noble, Wendy et al. “The importance of tau phosphorylation for neurodegenerative diseases.” Frontiers in neurology vol. 4 83. 1 Jul. 2013, doi:10.3389/fneur.2013.00083
11Wiatrak, Benita et al. “PC12 Cell Line: Cell Types, Coating of Culture Vessels, Differentiation and Other Culture Conditions.” Cells vol. 9,4 958. 14 Apr. 2020, doi:10.3390/cells9040958
12Winblad, Bengt. “Piracetam: a review of pharmacological properties and clinical uses.” CNS drug reviews vol. 11,2 (2005): 169-82. doi:10.1111/j.1527-3458.2005.tb00268.x
13Spignoli, G, and G Pepeu. “Interactions between oxiracetam, aniracetam and scopolamine on behavior and brain acetylcholine.” Pharmacology, biochemistry, and behavior vol. 27,3 (1987): 491-5. doi:10.1016/0091-3057(87)90353-4
14Gabryel, Bozena et al. “Aniracetam attenuates apoptosis of astrocytes subjected to simulated ischemia in vitro.” Neurotoxicology vol. 23,3 (2002): 385-95. doi:10.1016/s0161-813x(02)00084-0
15Senin, U et al. “Aniracetam (Ro 13-5057) in the treatment of senile dementia of Alzheimer type (SDAT): results of a placebo controlled multicentre clinical study.” European neuropsychopharmacology : the journal of the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology vol. 1,4 (1991): 511-7. doi:10.1016/0924-977x(91)90004-e
16Bottini, G et al. “Oxiracetam in dementia: a double-blind, placebo-controlled study.” Acta neurologica Scandinavica vol. 86,3 (1992): 237-41. doi:10.1111/j.1600-0404.1992.tb05077.x