The billion dollar business of being smartBMJ 2015; 351 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.h4829 (Published 14 September 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;351:h4829
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I read with great interest the article by Dr Chinthapalli. He raises awareness of the increasing use of cognitive enhancing medications and the use and abuse of these drugs in academia.
The use of these medications I feel is somewhat a double edge sword. The use of these medications to enhance cognitive ability may well help persons' realises the extent of their academic potential. However, in the article the use of these agents do seem to elude to the unfair advantage one student may exploit over their peers and as a result equate to "cheating".
This situation may well mirror the issue we are seeing in both college and professional athletics where performance enhancing drugs seem to be tarnishing a sport whose founding principle which is similar to academia is based solely on human endeavour, perseverance and basic talent.
I feel academic institutes must take measures to ensure that pupils are on a level playing field when undertaking their respective courses and exams. This must be appropriately policed and those found to have used these medications unfairly are subjected to the appropriate academic reprimands. Furthermore, the uses of these agents on developing minds and the long term implications of their use is still to be researched and could lead to long term cognitive issues in the future. Such as those experienced by the protagonist in the movie Limitless.
Competing interests: No competing interests