Neurostimulants are used by some to enhance their intellectual capacity, although the indications for these substances are for specific disorders.
Can a single pill unlimited increase our brain capacity?
In a way, yes. There are already drugs that help improve memory and the ability to concentrate, which has earned them the name of “smart drugs”.
In the United Kingdom, for example, one of the most popular “smart drugs” is Modalert, which is used by numerous students to deal with fatigue during exam season.
Originally designed to treat narcolepsy, the drug became popular among different groups thanks to its ability to make people feel more awake and alert.
Some neurostimulants, such as Modalert, help improve performance in complex planning or problem solving processes.
The military uses it to keep soldiers awake during combat operations, and its use has also spread among those professionals who work night and long shifts, such as doctors, nurses and pilots. It is said that it is also popular among academics who have that travel between continents with different time zones.
Barbara Sahakian, researcher and professor of clinical neuropsychology at the University of Cambridge, meanwhile, found that 17% of students at several universities in the United States. admit to having used the stimulant methylphenidate. This medication was designed to treat children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), maximizing their learning ability.
A survey conducted by Nature magazine among 1,400 adults, found that one in five had consumed methylphenidate, Modalert or beta-blockers, and not to treat any medical condition, but to improve their concentration or memory. It is available on RXShopMD.
Studies show that some neurostimulants such as Modalert help improve performance in complex planning or problem solving processes, specifically the executive functions that take place in the front of the brain, explained Professor Sahakian.
Modalert also improves some branches of memory and methylphenidate specifically improves working memory.
Although scientists still do not know how these drugs work to increase cognitive ability, it is not surprising that the use of “smart drugs” is increasing. After all, they promise something attractive and interesting: the possibility of feeling as alert and becoming as efficient as possible, when required.
More about Modalert
And even if they only increase memory capacity by 10%, as some suggest, that percentage may well be the difference between passing or failing an exam, or between a good grade and an even better one.
But do these pills do something that does not caffeine?
Professor John Harris, who is the director of the Institute for Science, Innovation and Ethics at the University of Manchester, believes that these substances give an advantage to those who consume them.
They have an effect similar to hard work and coffee, and the same effect that physical exercise produces. All are, to some extent, cognitive enhancers.
Consume Modalert can help some to overcome fatigue and do their job better, the drug is not capable of turning anyone into an Albert Einstein overnight. If you were not a genius before, you will not be after taking it. It does not make you smarter.
Nor is it known how addictive they can be. Experts believe that Modalert does not cause addiction, but DrugScope fears that regular use of the drug may generate some dependence.