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The Hype Behind Cognitive Enhancers

Students, athletes and mentally or physically active people want to perform their best. More and more of them are showing interest in the effects of taking cognitive enhancers. Modafinil and Adderall are the most popular, although Adderall produces too many side effects to be deemed a safe option. Modafinil is a widely-accepted safe alternative to Adderall. Students on many campuses have abused the drug, and scientific researchers have reviewed countless studies. Fortunately,

Background of Modafinil

First marketed as Provigil, Modafinil is a drug that treats various sleep disorders like narcolepsy and sleep apnea. It has also been reviewed to determine its effect on other mental disorders, including:

  • ADHD
  • Schizophrenia
  • Post-chemotherapy cognitive impairment

The drug is an eugeroic that promotes wakefulness and reduces sleepiness. Its chemicals interfere with the levels of histamine and dopamine in the brain. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that controls many functions like reward, motivation and arousal.

Modafinil for Cognitive Enhancement

Since Modafinil has many functions and benefits, people have claimed that it helps improve concentration and intelligence. University students in India, the UK and the U.S. have claimed to score better grades on Modafinil. Students and other practitioners of alternative medicine consume it as a nootropic for non-medical reasons. In addition to promoting alertness, users say that the drug increases mental concentration, allowing them to remain focused longer when they “cram” for exams.

A New Study Emerges

For years, very few studies emerged in the 1990s to support the claim that people became smarter, concentrated longer or scored better grades on Modafinil. However, a new systematic review emerged in 2014 from the European Neuropsychopharmacology journal, revealing that this drug shows some promising benefits for enhancing cognitive functions.

A collection of research about Modafinil for productivity was compiled from the early ’90s to the mid 2000s. Twenty-four studies focused on the improved effects of taking the drug, such as:

  • Creativity
  • Learning
  • Planning
  • Decision making

Researchers found that the effects of Modafinil improved with longer, more complicated tasks. The studies were performed on non-sleep-deprived individuals. They have determined that the original tests from the ’90s were basic and not suitable for people with average intelligence. In recent years, the tests have become more complex. With this reanalysis of data, the researchers have concluded that Modafinil does enhance cognition, especially in the areas of planning and decision making. There were little effects found on mood and memory.

Although this drug has been proven to be a cognitive enhancers, researchers agree that testing methods need to improve in order to achieve more accurate results. It’s predicted that more tests on the effects of Modafinil for cognitive enhancement will performed in the future.

Modafinil is the newest nootropic drug that actually lives up to its hype. Thousands of people around the world have claimed to have increased levels of focus, concentration and learning. Taking the drug is similar to taking vitamin supplements, as it enhances the mind and reduces sleepiness. More research must be completed to acquire additional information about its benefits.