Increasingly taken by healthy people to improve focus before exams, after a comprehensive review researchers say Modafinil is safe in the short-term Modafinil is the world’s first safe “smart drug”, researchers at Harvard and Oxford universities have said, after performing a comprehensive review of the drug. They concluded that the drug, which is prescribed for narcolepsy but is increasingly taken without prescription by healthy people, can improve decision- making, problem-solving and possibly even make people think more creatively.
While acknowledging that there was limited information available on the effects of long-term use, the reviewers said that the drug appeared safe to take in the short term, with few side effects and no addictive qualities.
Prepare for drugs that will improve memory, concentration and learning
FOR thousands of years, people have sought substances that they hoped would boost their mental powers and their stamina. Leaves, roots and fruit have been chewed, brewed and smoked in a quest to expand the mind. That search continues today, with the difference only that the shamans work in pharmaceutical laboratories rather than forests.
If asked why, the shamans reply that they are looking for drugs to treat the effects of Alzheimer’s disease, attention-deficit disorder, strokes, and the dementias associated with Parkinson’s disease and schizophrenia—and that is the truth. But by creating compounds that benefit the sick, they are offering a mental boost to the healthy, too.
Rigorous analysis shows the drug modafinil significantly enhances cognition
What if you could pop a pill that made you smarter? It sounds like a Hollywood movie plot, but a new systematic review suggests that the decades-long search for a safe and effective “smart drug” (see below) might have notched its first success. Researchers have found that modafinil boosts higher-order cognitive function without causing serious side effects.
Modafinil, which has been prescribed in the U.S. since 1998 to treat sleep-related conditions such as narcolepsy and sleep apnea, heightens alertness much as caffeine does. A number of studies have suggested that it could provide other cognitive benefits, but results were uneven.
“One pill. Anything is possible.” That’s the message advertising Limitless, a film showing in cinemas this week.
Starring Bradley Cooper and Robert de Niro, the film tells the story of a writer who takes an experimental drug that allows him to use 100% of his mind.
Success, fame and a much-improved hairdo follow. The designer pharmaceutical turns him from being disorganised and unmotivated into someone laser-focused and more confident than any man alive.
But is there any truth in the scenario? Can a little pill impart limitless brain power?
Kiss your pillow good-bye. A new breed of drugs promises to do for drowsiness what Prozac did for depression.
In January 2003, US Air Force majors William Umbach and Harry Schmidt faced court-martial after a friendly fire incident in Afghanistan that killed four Canadian soldiers and wounded eight others. During a pretrial hearing, Umbach’s lawyer spilled one of the Pentagon’s dirty little secrets — the pilots had been on speed when they dropped the fatal bomb. Their judgment was impaired, he claimed, because superiors pressured them to prepare for the mission by taking Dexedrine, a practice he described as common. The charges were dropped, but not before the revelation sparked public outrage: Why were our boys flying $30 million jets on uppers?
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