A Dalliance with Smart Drugs

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It was in March, in the drizzle, that I realized my brain was burned out. Like a rusty engine, I could hear it chug-chug and splutter - but it would never quite start running at top speed. I had just come back from a rough month-long work-trip to Bangladesh, and I had an Everest of work in front of me. It was all fascinating, and all urgent - but I was plodding though it at half my normal speed. I needed to be performing at my best; instead I was at my worst. I stared at the London rain from my window, and slogged on.

That's when I stumbled across a small story in an American scientific magazine. It said there was a spiky debate across America's universities about the increasing use by students of a drug called Provigil. It was, they said, Viagra for the brain. It was originally designed for narcoleptics in the seventies, but clinical trials had stumbled across something odd: if you give it to non-narcoleptics, they just become smarter. Their memory and concentration improves considerably, and so does their IQ.

It's not an amphetamine or stimulant, the article explained: it doesn't make you high, or wired. It seems to work by restricting the parts of your brain that make you sluggish or sleepy. No significant negative effects have been discovered. Now students are using it in the run-up to exams as a "smart drug" - a steroid for the mind.

.:johannhari.com->

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Posted: December 26th, 2010
at 3:04pm by Koookiecrumbles


Categories: drogas,science

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