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Over-hyped 'smart drug' actually impairs brain function, shocked scientists discover


Modafanil
(NaturalNews) While some individuals -- mainly students striving to excel in classes and on exams -- have claimed that the drug Modafinil, more commonly known as the popular "smart" drug," has the ability to boost brain power, a new study shows that the drug actually does the opposite. That's right. It impairs brain function.

The finding has shocked scientists and users of the drug, who have learned of the negative impact it has on response time regarding cognitive task performances.

"We looked at how the drug acted when you are required to respond accurately and in a timely manner," says study lead Dr. Ahmed Dahir Mohamed of the School of Psychology at The University of Nottingham's Malaysia Campus. "Our findings were completely opposite to the results we expected."

"Smart" drug not such a smart choice after all

The journal where the findings are published, PLOS ONE, states that for the study, " . . . participants in both groups made a similar number of errors . . indicating that modafinil did not enhance the accuracy of performance of the task relative to placebo." Not only was performance not improved, but when tasks called for a timely response, the drug slowed down reaction times rather than quickened them.

For the study, 32 participants were given the drug while another 32 were given a placebo. A famous neuropsychological task known as the Hayling Sentence Completion Test (HSCT) was administered to the participants, all of whom were asked to respond quickly and accurately by providing missing last words to sentences that made it rather obvious as to what the needed word should be. According to the journal:

The HSCT is used because it is a highly sensitive neuropsychological measure of frontal lobe function that tap into response initiation and suppression of words. These are important cognitive functions that need to be investigated with a putative cognitive enhancing drug. In this experiment, the task was used to measure the effects of modafinil on cognitive flexibility, response inhibition and response initiation in the domain of language retrieval, semantic activation and selection in semantic search.

Boost brain power safely with healthier, more effective alternatives

Modafinil, while it's been popularized as a drug to increase brain power, is actually licensed to combat narcolepsy and other disorders that disrupt wakefulness.

Rather than turn to drugs to boost brain performance, individuals might be wiser to turn to more natural -- and truly effective -- measures. Several foods have been shown to help create healthier brain function.

For example, foods such as maca, cacao and reishi mushrooms help improve mental clarity and overall mood as can coconut oil, blueberries, omega-3 fatty acids and consumption of pure water.

In studies involving coconut oil, immediate positive cognitive and memory results have noted when participants with memory issues consumed coconut oil versus a placebo. All subjects in one particular study for example, had better paragraph recall shortly after taking a dose of coconut oil. So effective is coconut oil that when Dr. Mary Newport gave it to her husband, who was afflicted with Alzheimer's disease so badly that he could not even draw simple pictures, tremendous changes in the fight against his dementia occurred such as the ability to recall events and engage in tasks he once could not.

As for blueberries, they too, are an effective way to increase brain function. According to the World's Healthiest Foods web site, blueberries have the potential to improve memory. The site mentions a study in which blueberries that were turned into juice form had positive effects shown to delay the development of cognitive problems.

Sources for this article include:

(1) http://www.alphagalileo.org/ViewItem.aspx?ItemId=147184&CultureCode=en
(2) http://www.plosone.org
(3) http://www.naturalnews.com
(4) http://www.naturalnews.com
(5) http://www.naturalnews.com/039811_coconut_Alzheimers_dementia.html
(6) http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=8
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