If you could take a pill to be super smart in an instant, would you? 41



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Most people looking for a mind clearing, mood boost in the morning reach for a cup of coffee but a new drug could really enhance your mental ability.

It sound like a pitch for the Hollywood thriller Limitless starring Bradley Cooper and Robert De Niro but it may be about to become a reality. A drug that could actually help you do, what you do – but better.

The prescription medicine is usually used to treat the sleeping condition narcolepsy, but has been found to enhance the minds of people who are not sleep-deprived, making them more alert and able to concentrate better. UK and US scientists have analysed a collection of previous studies and found that the performance-enhancing capacity of the ‘smart drug’ varied according to the task, with the drug helping people do better during longer and more complex tasks.

Modafinil (also known as Provigil) is normally used to treat the sleep disorder but it may be the world’s first true smart drug, according to new research. It enhances attention, improves learning, and boosts “fluid intelligence”—which we use to solve problems and think creatively. And it does all that without the addictive qualities of caffeine.

It’s not fully understand how the drug works, but one theory is that it enhances brain activity in areas that manage those skills. The review, published in the journal European Neuropsychopharmacology, looked at 24 placebo-controlled studies of healthy, non-sleep-deprived people conducted between 1990 and 2014.

Modafinil has been around for a long time, and its off-label use as smart drug is well-known in some circles. The use of cognitive enhancers is seen by many as cheating, and it is often compared to doping in sports.
Would you take a drug that could make you sharper, faster and more focused?

Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. It’s inevitable, we are heading for a chemical world whether we like it or not, just look at the recents scandals in F/b, so education is just another, where the chance for higher marks will be the norm!!

  2. I do – you get it at any bottle shop – after the required dose I am smarter, funnier, more articulate, a much better dancer etc – just ask me 🙂 (but do not ask those around me who haven’t had enough to recognise how good I become)

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  3. I’m tired of this world being run by really smart people with really high educations and really high intellectual abilities – but haven’t a clue about what’s happening on the ground. A group of ordinary people working together on a common problem produces a practical solution which is then vetoed by some really smart person…..there’s a hole in the bucket dear Liza………

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    • Oh tell me about it … New car … Front seat passenger seat belt alarm going off continuously when the passenger is belted up!!! The boffins at the head office (won’t name the car manufacturer) believe it is this really technical problem that required a brand new upgraded fee loan car as a replacement for six weeks whilst a new dash complete with technical doodads comes by boat. Okay, I get the car back with an explanation of what’s been done. First passenger back in the car, it still does it!! I say to them, could it be the stem that the seat belt goes into? You know, the cheapest, simplest first thing you would eliminate before putting a customer through this. Well … I got an additional years road side service, an extended warranty and 20% off any accessories or parts and the problem solved in one day. Red faces all round. And I am just a female whose brain cells cant match those boffins.

    • Same in the motorbike parts industry Judith. He asks for a part for his 20 yr old Triumph. Parts are now not kept at the local dealer but have to come from Melbourne. They say they can’t sell him a part without the VIN number. Thats the number somewhere on the frame. No, they haven’t got that part for that year. So he says, yes, but its the same part for about 5 years running. They still can’t supply him with the part unless he gives a Vin number of a bike he doesn’t own??? So he rings BJ’s Bikes and Bits in Brisbane. A young woman answers. No numbers needed. Says what the part is, supplies Visa details and the part arrives by post the next day. Triumph? You need some practicality if you expect your customers to keep buying your bikes.

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