Use of ‘smart drugs’ on the rise (2018)

Use of ‘smart drugs’ on the rise
Nature 05 July 2018

Smart drugs: A dose of intelligence.
Nature. 2016 Mar 3;531(7592):S2-3.
Dance A.

Adderall (amphetamine) and Ritalin (methylphenidate) — treatments for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
modafinil, which is a medication for sleep disorders such as narcolepsy.

it is not clear whether the same medications can push a neurologically healthy, well-rested individual onto a higher cognitive plane.

“By far the most commonly used neurocognitive enhancers are nicotine and caffeine,” says Peter Morgan, a psychiatrist at Yale University School of Medicine in New Haven, Connecticut.

many cognitive tests had been designed to assess impairment, not enhancement. For example, people with a brain injury or dementia may struggle with a clock-drawing test, but someone with normal cognition will usually get it right — leaving no room for smart drugs to assist.

regular use of coffee and cigarettes causes consumers’ brains to adapt so that they need the stimulant just to function at their normal cognitive level.

ethical questions. One such concern revolves around social equality. Not everyone has equal access to smart drugs,…

they stick to coffee, tea or energy drinks. Morgan, for his part, suggested that the same cognitive benefits can be achieved by simply taking a refreshing nap.

Can You Make Yourself Smarter?
The RSA, 2014

nicotine patch


Biography Of Bob Fosse Razzles, Dazzles And Delights

Biography Of Director Bob Fosse Razzles, Dazzles And Delights
by Bob Mondello
November 07, 2013

the director’s dark stage imagery mirrored his own life — … the amphetamines that kept him going, and the barbiturates that calmed him when he lost confidence in his own “razzle-dazzle.”

Wasson pictures him as harder on himself than he was on his dancers. In one year, he won a directing triple crown for which no one else had ever even been nominated — An Emmy for Liza With A Z, an Oscar for Cabaret and a Tony for Pippin. And his reaction was utter depression. But out of that depression came Chicago … a musical vaudeville that looked great at the Tony Awards in 1976.

Fosse is filled with … vivid descriptions that turn the research into a sort of movie in your head.

Drug laws & treatment innovation

Effects of Schedule I drug laws on neuroscience research and treatment innovation
David J. Nutt, Leslie A. King and David E. Nichols

draconian penalty

cannabis (marijuana)

lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD; also known as lysergide)

3,4-methyl- enedioxy-N-methylamphetamine (MDMA; also known as ecstasy)

psilocybin:  a hallucinogenic indole C12H17N2O4P obtained from a fungus (as Psilocybe mexicana or P. cubensis syn. Stropharia cubensis)

LSD has been used successfully to treat other addictions

there is no evidence that psychedelics have addictive properties

MDMA similarly has low dependence potential, although some chronic cannabis users can develop dependence

circular argument

in the United States, medical use of marijuana is legal in 18 states and in the District of Columbia.

cannabis was a prescription medication in the United Kingdom until the middle of the twentieth century

In practice, research with Schedule I drugs has almost completely ceased, with research into psychedelic drugs being particularly affected.

Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive ingredient of cannabis that makes users ‘stoned’.

Overall, cannabis is less harmful than other popular drugs, such as alcohol.

related news release: