Skippaan älylääkkeiden tarkemman käsittelyn, koska ne ansaitsevat parempaa huomioita kuin ehdin antamaan, mutta jätän luettavaksi muutaman ajatuksia herättelevän linkin. Linkeissä oivaltavuutta edesauttamassa myös muutama liikunnan aivoihin vaikuttamisesta kertova ja kuinka se monessa tapauksessa suorastaan korvaa ADHD-lääkkkeiden tarpeen. Käsittelen näitä aiheita sitten, kun ehdin antamaan aikaa tieteellisten julkaisujen lukemista varten. Nythän olen käynyt läpi lähinnä ”tavallisten ihmisten” luettavaksi tarkoitettuja (satoja) uutisia, artikkeleita yms.
Huomaat mukaan otetuista katkelmista sen, että vaikka toiset ovat täysin sitä mieltä, että ADHD-lääkkeet ovat erityisen hyödyllisiä (myös ns. normaaleille ihmisille) ja monet tutkimukset osoittavat merkittävän positiivista vaikutusta useilla osa-alueilla, aina löytyy sellainen tieto, jonka mukaan ADHD-lääkkeistä ei sitten olekaan hyötyä (kenellekään).
A new drug could enhance your performance at work — and one doctor says the side effects aren't any worse than too much coffee
In a meta-analysis recently published in European Neuropsychopharmacology, researchers from the University of Oxford and Harvard Medical School concluded that a drug called modafinil, which is typically used to treat sleep disorders, is a cognitive enhancer.
Surprisingly, the authors found no safety concerns in the data, though they caution that most of the studies were done in controlled environments and only looked at the effects of a single dose.
"What emerged was that the longer and the more complex the task, ... the more consistently modafinil showed cognitive benefits," said Anna-Katharine Brem, a neuropsychologist at Oxford and one of the paper's authors, in an email.
Out of all cognitive processes, modafinil was found to improve decision-making and planning the most in the 24 studies the authors reviewed.
Millennials took Adderall to get through school. Now they've taken their addiction to the workplace
If you're like Raphael and don't experience significant physiological downsides to taking ADHD medication, it's not hard to see why you'd be reluctant to stop taking it, despite the health risks.
Even if employers were aware of the trend, would they be inclined to try to stop it? Unlike many other drugs—especially "downers" such as marijuana, Valium, and even heroin—stimulants like Adderall often help job performance instead of hurting it.
Aside from a couple of days spent binge-watching Frasier, he had no withdrawal symptoms. Soon, his relationship improved, but his career suffered. "I had obligations to all these clients," he says. "When I stopped taking Adderall, I just stopped emailing them, because I didn't want to build a website—I wanted to hang out with my friends.
Not that they'd ever likely suspect it, anyway: Raphael looks more like a workaholic than a drug addict. He's the type of Adderall user who doesn't usually make news. "I've never had panic attacks or wound up in the ER," he says. "I get enough sleep."
Raphael credits his own tech knowledge to Adderall. In college, he often used his amphetamine-induced laser focus to teach himself to code. He eventually started a successful freelance web-design business, and now makes $75,000 a year as a full-time web developer.
"I was a little surprised by how much I loved it," Raphael, now 25, tells Quartz. "It made me feel like a philosopher king." Soon, he became part of the estimated 20% of college students who abuse prescription stimulants.
Are smart drugs driving Silicon Valley?
Y Combinator, a prominent Silicon Valley accelerator, received a number of applications from entrepreneurs looking to create their own nootropics companies. "There's clearly consumer demand," Y Combinator president Sam Altman told CNNMoney. "We haven't funded one, we're still getting to understand the space."
Modafinil: Brain booster or brain drain?
He's also cut down on coffee, improved his diet and now saves modafinil for those days when he really needs laser-sharp focus for work.
Particularly attractive is modafinil's reputation for minimal side effects and lower potential for addiction.
Fortin did extensive research and decided to order a supply of modafinil online. He was impressed — by the 14-hour workdays he could power through without a break and the "superhuman" levels of concentration, energy and sustained cognition available at the ready.
ADHD drugs no help with homework
Medication had no significant effects on homework completion or accuracy, compared with a placebo, researchers report in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology.
One limitation of the study is the potential for differences in the children's home or school environments to influence how much taking medication might improve their homework performance, researchers point out.
It's also possible that even with long-acting drugs, the effects might wear off for kids who took medication first thing in the morning then didn't do homework until that night, said Dr. Tumaini Rucker Coker, a pediatrics researcher at Seattle Children's Hospital and the University of Washington who wasn't involved in the study.
ADHD & the brain: Does ADHD treatment improve long-term academic, social and behavioral outcomes?
Treated vs. untreated ADHD was compared in 48 studies involving 76 outcomes. For 72% of the outcomes, treated individuals were doing significantly better. For the remaining 28% of outcomes, treated and untreated individuals generally did not differ although in rare instances treated individuals were doing worse.
Misuse & Abuse of ADHD Meds among college students: Updated review of a growing concern
Most research on the motives for nonmedical use has been conducted with college students. Among students, the primary motivation for most nonmedical users is to enhance academic performance, especially the ability to concentrate/focus while studying. However, other motives are also reported by a significant minority of individuals, including using to ‘get high’.
The vast majority of college students who engage in nonmedical use to enhance their academic performance believe that it is helpful. In one study, 70% rated the overall impact of nonmedical use as being either ‘positive’ or ‘very positive’ and only 5% rated the overall impact as ‘negative’ or ‘very negative’.
Nootropics, psychedelics & expansion of consciousness
Nootropics, pronounced (new-tropiks) are the milder modern version of Ayahuasca and magic mushrooms. The term itself comes from a Greek word meaning to bend or turn. We already know that certain cognitive functions can be enhanced or hampered by altering chemical states in the brain. It is evidenced in modern literature, and certainly through the extensive use of mind-altering substances throughout history. Mind-bending is an appropriate term, since nootropics will likely bend the mind towards higher performance, by way of enhanced cognitive abilities like memory, creativity, spatial and linguistic understanding, information recall, etc., rather than blow the mind, as other shamanic drugs are able to.
Dopamine Supplements: Boost Your Mood (and more) Naturally
The first dopamine supplement to try should almost certainly be l-tyrosine. L-tyrosine is an amino acid that’s a precursor to dopamine. Tyrosine is found mainly in protein-rich foods like animal products and legumes. If you don’t get enough l-tyrosine in your diet, or your body doesn’t properly convert it, you won’t manufacture adequate dopamine.
Exercise can help adults better cope with ADHD symptoms
The study tested 32 young men with elevated ADHD symptoms who cycled at a moderate intensity for 20 minutes on one day, and on another day sat and rested for 20 minutes as a control condition. The participants were asked to perform a task requiring focus both before and after the different conditions, and researchers noted leg movement, mood, attention and self-reported motivation to perform the task.
As a result, researchers found that it was only after the exercise when the participants felt motivated to do the task; they also felt less confused and fatigued and instead felt more energetic. Interestingly, leg movements and performance on the task did not change after the exercise—rather, the exercise helped the young men feel better about doing the task.
Exercise May Be The Most Effective ADHD Medicine
Physical activity is clearly a high, high-yield investment for all kids, but especially those attentive or hyperactive.
The improvements in this case came in executive control, which consists of inhibition (resisting distraction, maintaining focus), working memory, and cognitive flexibility (switching between tasks). The images above show the brain activity in the group of kids who did the program as opposed to the group that didn't. It's the kind of difference that's so dramatic it's a little unsettling.
Earlier this month, another study found that a 12-week exercise program improved math and reading test scores in all kids, but especially in those with signs of ADHD. (Executive functioning is impaired in ADHD, and tied to performance in math and reading.)
Even very light physical activity improves mood and cognitive performance by triggering the brain to release dopamine and serotonin, similar to the way that stimulant medications like Adderall do.
ADHD Is Fuel for Adventure
If you take a typical ADHD kid, layer on some experience and maturity, tamp down the impulsive bits, and add some goal aspirations and a keen ability to plan and dream, you end up with a high-adrenaline achiever like alpinist Conrad Anker or adventurer Sir Richard Branson, both of whom believe they have the condition.
When I’m alpine climbing, that keeps me alive.” Anker can nimbly process snow conditions, incoming weather, and rope integrity to make quick decisions. His brain likes intense environments, he says, but too much pointless stimulation, like on a busy city street, drives him bananas.
For athletes like Corliss and swimmer Michael Phelps, who has also been diagnosed with ADHD, the sport itself becomes their medication, filling their brains with endorphins and endocannabinoids.
More psychiatrists are also prescribing exercise for kids with ADHD. But the National Institute of Mental Health makes no mention of physical activity as a treatment option on its extensive website.
How Physical Exercise Builds Brain Fitness
Exercise increases circulation delivering more oxygen, glucose, and nutrients to your brain. Increased circulation also helps remove debris, like toxins and metabolic waste products, that builds up in your brain.
Exercise increases brain volume by raising levels of brain chemicals that promote new brain cell formation and new neural connections. Exercise especially increases the number of brain cells in the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for learning and memory.
The stress hormone cortisol kills existing brain cells and halts the production of new ones. Stress impairs your memory and your ability to make good decisions. It negatively impacts every cognitive function. Stress increases your risk of mental illnesses of all kinds now and degenerative brain diseases later.
But exercise can overcome the impact of chronic stress on your brain. It decreases cortisol release and improves your reaction to stress.
Movement in ADHD may help children think, perform better in school
The constant movement of children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may be distracting—but the fidgeting also may improve their cognitive performance, a study by researchers with the UC Davis MIND Institute has found.
"Parents and teachers shouldn't try to keep them still. Let them move while they are doing their work or other challenging cognitive tasks, Schweitzer said. "It may be that the hyperactivity we see in ADHD may actually be beneficial at times. Perhaps the movement increases their arousal level, which leads to better attention."