Use Off Prescription Drugs to Enhance Cognition?

Drugs designed for Alzheimer’s disease, ADHD, narcolepsy and other neurological disorders are finding new off-prescription use as cognitive enhancers. Students, professionals and many other citizen have reported using prescription-only drugs such as Aderaal (a form of ritlan for ADHD) and Modafinil (a stimulant used to treate narcolepsy) to boost mental performance.  Typical non-medical uses of these  “smart drugs” include efforts to improve concentration, enhance memory and create mental energy.

Using smart drugs without a prescription is illegal but they are easily available on the internet and from street sources.  As reported in the commentary, Toward  responsible use of  cognitive-enhancing drugs by the healthy, in the prestigious scientific journal Nature:

“Today, on university campuses around the world, students are striking deals to buy and sell prescription drugs such as Adderall and Ritalin — not to get high, but to get higher grades, to provide an edge over their fellow students or to increase in some measurable way their capacity for learning.”

And it is not just students but professors, physicians, lawyers, engineers and many other professionals.

Not surprising there is little or no scientific evidence that these drugs work to enhance cognitive performance of healthy people.  However, the subjective effect of increased mental energy seems unmistakable.

With many people experimenting with smart drugs, and a growing number of calls for studying their use to achieve peak cognitive performance, they will be a frequent topic in the Next Brain Blog.

Please leave a comment if you have experience in using smart drugs that you want to share with other readers.

Source:  Image of Smart Drugs