More Brain Pills – are you a user?

October 16, 2008 at 2:11 pm (Bad Science, Miscellaneous) (, , , , , , )

Here is a story that rang a couple of bells with me. Back in May, I wrote about claims by the Academy of Medical Sciences that people were using Alzheimer’s, and other, medications as “exam-boosting drugs” (quoted text is from the BBC headline rather than the AMS). I contrasted fears of academic cheating via brain boosting pills with the enthusiasm for “brain boosting” fish oil pills in Durham. Now, a questionnaire of 1400 people seems a little thin for BBC claims that “up to a fifth of adults, including college students and shift workers, may be using cognitive enhancers”. I can believe that up to a fifth of college students might use cognitive boosters, but the shift workers would be slightly more surprising and one fifth of all adults taking cognitive enhancers would shock me, to be honest. Unless they just mean “are coffee drinkers”. I don’t have any info about this survey, but I thought it might be fun to do my own. Test this new WordPress poll feature if nothing else. If I can find out more (and I have emailed the BBC to this end), I will update this post with some interesting shit about the Nature survey.

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