Monday, 15 Dec, 2008 Science

Taking Brain-Boosting Drugs is Natural, Scientists Say


According to a team of neuroscientists, psychiatrists and ethicists, people should take advantage of some drugs that boost the power of human brain. One of the latest surveys found that about 25 percent of students from several US Universities purchase on black markets Ritalin or Adderall, which are usually prescribed to treat ADHD (attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder). Students use these drugs to boost their memory and concentration.

Scientists found that students also bought Modafinil (used to treat narcolepsy, which causes excessive sleepiness and cataplexy, associated with sudden loss of muscle control), which they believed could serve as a mind improver.

Researches made on these drugs, and namely their effect on cognitive function in healthy people, had different results. Together with his colleagues, Henry Greely of Stanford Law School in California, came to the conclusion that more research on the effect of the upper mentioned drugs is required. Scientists say that they should also analyze the safety of using all "brain-boosting" drugs. However, scientists mentioned that some cognitive enhancers had shown positive results, being safe for people. Thus, according to Stanford Law School researchers, they need to be welcomed and not feared.

"This isn't like steroids and sports... enhancement is not a dirty word," says Greely. He added that the use of mind enhancers to boost the power of brain is not "unnatural".

Greely and his team consider that taking a safe mind-enhancing pill is almost like a good night's sleep or a cup of coffee. Researchers believe that some pills may become more popular than expensive tutoring, showing the same effect but in less time and with less spending.

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