Smart Drugs..Not So Smart

19 November 2014, 07:18 | Updated: 30 March 2016, 13:50

Researchers at Nottingham Uni have found that Smart or Study drugs are actually making students perform worse in exams.

New research into the effects of Modafinil has shown that healthy students could find their performance impaired by the drug.

The 'smart' or 'study' drugs are normally used to treat sleep disorders but it's thought as many as one in five young people use it to stay awake and work longer.

Increased Reaction Times

When Dr Mohamed looked at participant’s ability to problem solve in a creative manner he found that those who weren’t particularly creative to start with were improved by the drug while those who were creative were impaired by the drug.

Dr Mohamed said:

'We looked at how the drug acted when you are required to respond accurately and in a timely manner. Our findings were completely opposite to the results we expected.'

'It has been argued that Modafinil might improve your performance by delaying your ability to respond. It has been suggested this 'delay dependent improvement' might improve cognitive performance by making people less impulsive. We found no evidence to support those claims.

'Our research showed that when a task required instant reactions the drug just increased reaction times with no improvement to cognitive performance.'