When I think about Silicon Valley, I think about a bunch of geniuses creating new codes, websites, and gadgets. But what if I told you that some of them are partaking in using drugs to gain an edge? Rather then hacking electronics, they are attempting to hack their own bodies. I would like to know how well these drugs mixed together work, they have been put into a new class of drug called Nootropics. Which are legal but not FDA approved.
The Null hypothesis is that Nootropics do not provide any valid increase toward work performance. While my reverse hypothesis is that Nootropics do provide valid increase toward work performance.
These drugs under the the class of Nootropics are aimed to enhance cognitive function. Most are not being regulated by the FDA but rather sold online as supplements. There have been a few studies, but most of them remain untested. With the abuse of these drugs rising in places like Silicon Vally I found a few that have been studied.
The first being called Modafinil, is marketed to decrease fatigue and increase mood. Medically the intended use would be for patients that suffer from narcolepsy and ADHD. The drug underwent a double blind, placebo-controlled study with 64 healthy people. Both groups would be tested using HSCT, which is The Hayling Sentence Completion Test. Its a spoken test with 15 sentences all with the last word missing and the subjects must complete the sentence. The second part is 15 sentences with a random word at the end, the subject must again come up with the last word to the sentence to replace the one that didn’t make sense. The first test will measure response initiation and second test will measure suppression. The conclusion was that both groups made the same number of mistakes but the Modafinil group answered significantly faster.
The second study is for a drug called Piracetam which is marketed to boost brain function.
But tested to medically treat for dementia and cognitive impairment. The drug was given in a blind placebo study to patients with varying types of dementia and Alzheimers. The data was taken by independent reviewers. Analyses were preformed where the patients lacked originally. The Global Impression of Change yielded the only significant results, this is where the patient rates how much better they feel after the study. The results came out inconclusive.
Kevin Roose did some investigative journalism by going to Silicon Vally and taking a pre-stack (A few nootropics mixed together) of Nootropics called rise by a company named Nootrobox. The company was founded by Geoffrey Woo who graduated form Stanford in computer science. Kevin’s pre-stack includes, acopa monnieri, L-theanine, and caffeine. None of their products are FDA approved. After taking these on and off for a month Kevin was not quite certain of any advance gained by taking the drugs.
In conclusion I would have to say there has to be more studies done on these drugs as some may work and some may not. I personally would not put any of these drugs that are untested into my body. But companies are making major profits, especially those targeting Silicone Vally. I wonder if any of these drugs would spill into the college scene, especially the unstudied one’s that could pose danger.