Did you see the movie Limitless yet? If not: you should! And beware, because the ultimate 'smart drug' is coming.
Limitless is based on the book The Dark Fields from 2001, which describes a drug that boosts the human IQ level up to the 4 digits range. While it's highly unlikely we'll ever see this in the real world, there are definitely substances that greatly improve the cognitive functions of the brain.
For example Modafinil, a drug originally created to help people suffering from narcolepsy, but for healthy, non-sleep deprived individuals it means two days of enhanced concentration.
"A 2011 study points out that Modafinil decreases impulsive behaviour and enhances cognitive flexibility. There is evidence that cognitive improvement products like Modafinil enhance motivation and enjoyment from performing routine tasks." *
According to Dr. Barbara Sahakian, professor of clinical neuropsychology at the University of Cambridge, 16% of American students are currently using cognitive boosters. What if these drugs (whose long-term effects are not yet known) causes more people to feel pressured to keep up? Will this spread beyond schools and become common practices for businesses? Will our workforce be administered brain boosters?
Cognitive boosters are collectively called nootropics**. The requirements they must meet to be classified as such are the ability to improve learning, memory consolidation and memory, without side effects on the central nervous system and with low toxicity, even at very high doses. Household nootropics used today are caffeine (productivity) and fish oil (for mental health support), which combined provide an even better boost. Nootropics change the supply of neurochemicals, enzymes and hormones in your brain. For example, Piracetam ensures that the plasticity of synapses in the brain is increased and helps your memory.
There has been a lot of talk on Modafinil on forums and although most people are positive, there are a number of individuals who wished they had never taken it, so beware. In case you want to try something a bit less radical, you can experiment with our own Brain-E, part of the Happy Caps range (we'd love to hear your thoughts), which contains several amino acids that enhance focus and concentration.