Many college students turn to ADHD medications during exam week, treating the prescription stimulants as “smart drugs” that will enhance their academic performance.
But a new study shows that drugs like Adderall do not improve, and can actually impair, brain function in healthy students who take the drug hoping for an intelligence boost.
“It’s not a smart drug. It was not suddenly improving their ability to comprehend information they were reading,” said lead researcher Lisa Weyandt, a professor of psychology at the University of Rhode Island.
As many as a third of college students have reported turning to ADHD medications to give themselves an edge on their studies, Weyandt said.
The thinking is that if the drugs help kids with ADHD improve their focus, they should provide the same benefit for people who don’t have the disorder, she said.
To test whether this effect is real or not, she and her colleagues recruited 13 students to participate in two five-hour study sessions in the lab. The students took a standard 30mg dose of Adderall before one session, and a placebo capsule before the other.
Read more: https://www.health24.com/Medical/ADHD/News/illicit-use-of-adhd-meds-wont-boost-grades-20180914-2