REALLY SMART DRUGS
Pop a pill and get really smart That's the promise of ampakines, a class of drugs that started out a decade ago as potential treatments for Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases. Turns out, ampakines increase memory, attention, and mental acuity - at least in lab monkeys. Now Darpa has invested more than $5 million in the hope that the drugs may replace current stimulants used by humans, namely pilots and soldiers. Military trials are in the works. Big Pharma, meanwhile, is testing to see whether ampakines can treat mild cognitive impairment.
The drugs are power boosters for brain signals, enhancing and prolonging synaptic currents by modifying the chemistry of cell receptors, in effect making you smarter, for longer. Just think, someday kids might need to be drug-tested before taking the SAT.
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