Modafinil, a ‘smart drug’ traditionally prescribed for narcolepsy, has been found to improve decision-making and problem-solving abilities, according to a comprehensive review. The drug also enhances creativity and planning skills, without causing side effects such as hyperactivity or inability to focus. The review analysed 24 placebo-controlled studies of modafinil’s effects on non-sleep-deprived people from January 1990 to December 2014.

It was revealed that modafinil significantly improved performance on long and complex tasks, making it a potential aid for students or professionals facing demanding projects. Despite these benefits, it’s important to note that modafinil is not without risks. It is still unclear how the drug affects the brain in the long term, and it can cause insomnia, headaches, and stomach issues.

Furthermore, the ethical implications of using cognition-enhancing drugs are still under debate. Some argue that it could create an unfair advantage in academic or professional settings, while others believe it could level the playing field for those who naturally struggle with focus or attention. Regardless of the ethical debate, the review’s findings confirm that modafinil does indeed enhance cognition.

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