The Quest for a "Smart Pill!"

Researchers at the University of Oxford, England, recently released a white paper on their analysis of a number of studies that were done between 1990 and 2014 on Modafinil (Provigil), a drug that has been used in the U.S. since 1998 for narcolepsy, sleep apnea and shift-work disorders. What they found was a surprising enhancement of the study subjects' executive function and cognition abilities. The drug appeared to be tied to improvements in attention, learning, memory and creative thinking in a little over half the study subjects. Had the researchers found a so-called "smart pill?" It should be noted that Provigil has been taken in the U.S. recreationally for years by those needing to s

Speech May Be an Early Clue to Mental Decline

New research done at the University of Wisconsin-Madison indicates that there are aspects of language that are affected earlier than thought, before or at the same time that memory problems begin to manifest. As one of the largest studies ever done on speech analysis for this purpose, the researchers had participants who were in their 50s and 60s (many of whom had a parent with Alzheimer's) describe a picture they were shown in taped sessions two years apart. Those who already had early-stage memory impairment or developed it over the two years had a much faster downward slide than those who initially had no thinking problems during the study time frame. The speech patterns in those involve

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