Is Modafinil smart drug of the future?
Modafinil smart drug is a medication that promotes wakefulness and provides a sense of mental clarity. This article discusses the benefits and side effects of modafinil, as well as the risks and benefits of other smart drugs.
The extension of our “natural” capabilities through science and technology is not a new phenomena; it has been a significant factor in the progress of human civilization throughout history: locomotion with the wheel, navigation with the compass, and communication with the wire. The study of “neuroenhancement” – which employs a more direct knowledge of how the brain operates to attempt to increase its functionality – might be the next such trigger.
New research examining the cognitive effects of the “smart pill” modafinil reveals that it can boost the cognitive performance of healthy individuals, making it the first of these “neuroenhancement agents.” Nonetheless, it is also evident that we must significantly enhance our analysis of the effects of this type of medicine on both healthy brains and society as a whole.
The Food and Medicine Administration has authorized Modafinil, a smart drug, to assist patients with sleep difficulties remain awake. This indicates that its safety in humans has been established in a clinical setting, over a lengthy period of time, and at various dosages. It has been observed that modafinil improves a wide variety of cognitive processes, bringing them closer to “normal” in these patients, as well as in many others with neuropsychiatric disorder. Modafinil appears to have the same impact on sleep-deprived individuals, including pilots and physicians.
However, we wanted to see what effect it had on healthy, non-sleep-deprived individuals. Modafinil showed to increase cognitive capabilities, particularly “higher” cognitive skills such as problem solving and planning, based on our evaluation of 24 research published between 1990 and 2015. This enhancement was not observed every time, on every test, for every individual; and for certain cognitive processes, such as attention, learning, and memory, several investigations failed to detect any difference.
We were even able to provide a few hypotheses as to how this may be occurring: for example, the effects we saw could be explained by a “top-down” influence on cognitive processing, caused by an amplification of activity in the pre-frontal brain areas. Critically, in the trials we reviewed, modafinil users reported a relatively small number of adverse effects, all of which were also reported by placebo groups doing the same assessments.
The phenomenon known as the “ceiling effect”
As we gathered data for our analysis, we were shocked by the methodologies employed by the papers we were analyzing. First, the overall number of research focusing on healthy persons was quite low, as was the average number of participants per study: about 30. Second, several of the studies utilized cognitive measures that looked unsuitable — tests that are often used to evaluate cognitive deficits in individuals with neuropsychiatric disease or neurological problems. This is recognized in the scientific community as the “ceiling effect,” because it makes it difficult, if not impossible, to identify performance gains on a substance.
When we reevaluated our data in this setting, the cognitive advantages of modafinil looked to be considerably stronger across a broader variety of cognitive domains, such as attention, executive function, learning, and memory. This was one of the major distinctions between our work and prior studies, which did not provide as much evidence for modafinil’s position as a cognitive enhancer since they did not examine the cognitive tests employed in more depth.
In controlled scientific conditions, our analysis demonstrates that modafinil is safe and beneficial for cognitive improvement; nevertheless, the majority of the trials we reviewed only administered the medication once, limiting our capacity to make longer-term claims.
A new method of cognitive testing is required
There is a compelling case for continuing this assessment using traditional scientific methods, with improved testing protocols, a larger participant pool, extended administration periods, use in combination with other interventions – such as cognitive training and noninvasive brain stimulation – and monitoring physiological changes and age-related differences.
However, considering the widespread unregulated use of modafinil by individuals without sleep difficulties, it may be more informative and ethical to examine its effects in a more realistic testing environment. Consequently, arguably the most significant conclusion of our study is that the infrastructure we now employ to evaluate neuroenhancement is insufficient. We must establish, enhance, and standardize cognitive testing protocols for highly functioning individuals.
The future of neuroaugmentation
The challenge of how to effectively incorporate technology and Modafinil smart drug that interact more directly with the brain into everyday living dwarfs the aforementioned concerns. Consider the next generation of smart medicines and smartphones, as well as Google Glass and Microsoft HoloLens. These agents are unquestionably on the horizon, and they are approaching rapidly.
Extending the breadth and depth of human intellect and action might allow us to more profoundly appreciate the mystery and beauties of the world around us, redefine our relationships, and get a deeper grasp of our mental urges and ailments. Likewise, it might enable us to become more productive, creative, and resilient.
However, as is typically the case, this great potential is accompanied by a significant danger of harm: concerns over who can take the medications, reliance, and manipulation abound. However, rather than instantly pointing to these difficulties as a form of final rejection, we must evaluate advancements objectively, thoroughly, and in light of the potential advantages they may provide.
To achieve this efficiently and fairly, we must provide a better forum for public discourse on this subject, where all may have an equal say in the creation, evaluation, and regulation of such agents before they reach consumers.