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Drug in a disguise

Rambling parties, irrespective of whether inside a million-dollar mansion or in a humble basement, thrive upon the spirit. Alcohol is an eternally popular, feel-good drug with a mass acceptance while the slightly pungent smelling marijuana (or hashish) shares the same status discreetly. However, the connoisseurs of tripping consider both to be recreational drugs; something helping to unwind and reduce stress. Those who have graduated to cocaine claim the drug to override weariness from disrupted circadian rhythms, broken sleep and provide energy. However, the latter two have been labeled contraband; but not the small pill mimicking similar effects. The secret is the compound modafinil, which, though imitating the amphetamines, do not jitter the cardiac rhythm. It is now on the leading edge of a trend that’s big and growing.

Modafinil influences dopamine and norepinephrine (the neurotransmitters) enabling the mind to focus and the memory to store. The drug causes the neurons to reabsorb the neurotransmitters and prolong their action in the areas responsible for taking decisions, speculations and reasoning and analysis. In short, modafinil exploits the brain to perform better on tasks and may open the doors to better cognitive enhancers, which in turn, may bring forth an enhanced memory. Among the most promising are the ampakines (compounds that open glutamate receptors for longer), which also is expected to treat ADHD. Our only concern is: If Dr. Einstein or Salvador DalĀ­ or Sir Winston Churchill had taken ADHD drugs, would the world find them? ADHD has been found to polish the potential and drive in certain people, so we must also think about how not to bring the future Einstein-s and Churchill-s under the influence of the new ADHD drugs.

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