Rise and shine: Wake up to an enhanced life
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of CNN News
Posted: January 31st, 2007
A new breed of lifestyle drugs could allow us to choose how much we sleep, boost our memories and even allow us to enjoy ourselves more, without any side effects. Will they unleash human capabilities never seen before or create a dystopian 24-hour society where we are dependent on drugs to regulate our lifestyle and behavior? One drug already available is modafinil, marketed as the vaguely Orwellian-sounding Provigil. It enables those who take it to stay awake and alert for 48 hours. It is a eugeroic that delivers a feeling of wakefulness without the physical or mental jitter. There is already a market for it for those without any medical need - it is developing a cult following among workaholics and students studying for exams. The military is also very interested in eugeroic. Their reliance on amphetamines for lengthy operations have had catastrophic consequences in the past. The "friendly-fire" incidents in Afghanistan in 2002 when U.S. pilots killed Canadian troops was blamed on the "go pills" they had taken. The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) tested a compound called CX717 in its quest to find a drug that can create a "metabolically dominant war-fighter of the future" able to function for seven days without sleep. CX717 is an ampakine, a compound that increases the brains computing powers. It re-writes the rules of what it takes to create a memory and just how strong those memories can be. Will cans of soda containing eugeroics or ampakines be as common as caffeine drinks on the shelves of 24-hour stores? The potential is certainly there for a brave new world of personality medication.