Health and Fitness

The pill for the brain that makes smarter

If there were pills that could strengthen memory, improve concentration and reduce the need for sleep, why not use them? If these tablets allowed the students to burn the stages with the exams, their professors to publish more scientific articles, surgeons to increase the number of daily interventions and night workers to avoid dangerous blows of sleep, because ask ethical doubts about their use ? The question is not idle, since these pills exist.

They were born to treat some psychiatric illnesses, but they spread almost everywhere in society, particularly within universities. The United Nations’ Narcotic control board reported a 300 percent increase in the use of stimulant drugs in the United States between 1995 and 2006. And a survey conducted by the British scientific journal Nature showed that 7 percent of American students (with 25 percent peaks in some particularly competitive campuses) made use of one or more of these drugs, often obtaining them via the internet. To prevent “mind doping” from altering the results of the end-of-year exams, in May the Academy of medical sciences in London had even suggested extending the urine test used for athletes to the students. “But the improvement of a sports performance has no effect on the well-being of the world. Improvement of intellectual performance, on the other hand, yes “. That’s why everyone should use the pills of intelligence, says Nature in an editorial that puts his feet on the table.

To sign the article divided into seven chapters (equivalent to as many good reasons why it would be right to resort to doping of the brain) are seven authoritative neuroscientists of American and British universities, which after warning against any long-term side effects, social injustices due to the cost of the drugs or pressures of parents to improve their children’s educational performance, they marry the cause of the “pills of intelligence” with conviction. “Like all technologies, drugs for improving intellectual performance can also be used in a positive or negative way. But we should be happy to have new ways to make our brain work more efficiently, “wrote the Americans Henry Greely, Ronald Kessler, Michael Gazzaniga, Martha Jarah and Philip Campbell (director of Nature) and the English Barbara Sahakian and John Harris. The pills that promise higher grades on exams are stimulants analogous to amphetamines used for attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (Ritalin and Adderall), capable of increasing concentration capacities.

Then there is a drug that fights the drowsiness used in patients who suffer from narcolepsy (Provigil) and a preparation against Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia (Aricept) which increases the levels of acetylcholine in the brain, an important neurotransmitter for the transmission of nerve impulses. There are also various types of beta-blockers that are normally used to combat cardiac arrhythmias, but allow students to get quieter at the time of the exam. Using these tablets outside of medical prescriptions in the United States is a crime punishable by imprisonment. But as with sports doping, legal restrictions do not seem to erase the habit. “So, let’s realize that it is better to accept the benefits of these products by studying their possible side effects better and taking the right measures against abuse”, the seven Nature experts suggest. Recalling that even today “American soldiers receive amphetamines and Provigil and that in the United States the military have the obligation to take drugs to improve their performance, if they receive the order of a superior”.  These drugs are available on for the injustice of having to face an exam or a competition in which the classmate has resorted to the help of chemistry.

Author Since: Mar 09, 2021

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