A new class of brain enhancing druge with incredible promise. They are being tested for specific medical problems (such as ADHD), plus more general use by anyone who wants to boost their learning and memory. Wikipedia Lots of exciting news in the Google results Exerpt from this article: Therapeutic Uses of Ampakines Ampakines have a broad range of potential therapeutic applications. These include relief of the effects of sleep deprivation, poor memories, stupidity (yes, they could be smart drugs!), Alzheimers, other forms of dementia, and general cognitive decline. Memory decline in human aging and dementia is linked to dysfunction of the cholinergic system. Ampakines increase excitatory monosynaptic (that is - by one synapse between two neurons) responses, allowing increased communication rates through the neural network. There is hope that ampakines may improve long-term potentiation that assists in memory. Britain's Academy of Medical Sciences projects that cognitive enhancement drugs will eventually become widespread and prompt regulation. The think-tank Furturelab reported to the British government that enhancement drugs may have to be subsidized so wealthy children do not gain an unfair advantage over their poorer classmates. Experpt from this article: This pill will make you smarter Ampakines work by boosting the activity of glutamate, a key neurotransmitter that makes it easier to learn and encode memory. They change the rules about what it takes to create a memory, and how strong those memories can be, says Gary Lynch of the University of California at Irvine, who invented the drugs. "We all have the same computer," he says, "but we're running with different voltage levels." Ampakines up that "voltage". The effects can be dramatic, as Julia Boyle at the University of Surrey, UK, and her colleagues have now shown. They tested an ampakine called CX717 on 16 healthy males aged between 18 and 45. The men were given either 100 milligrams, 300 mg or 1000 mg of the drug, or else a placebo. In repeated trials the volunteers cycled through the treatments so that their performance with different amounts of CX717 could be compared directly. In each test session, the volunteers started with a full night's sleep and the following morning and evening were given a battery of tests. These assessed memory, attention, alertness, reaction time and problem solving. Then, at 11 pm, the volunteers swallowed their pills and stayed up through the night. At midnight, 1 am, 3 am, 5 am and 9 am, they were re-tested on some of the tasks. And at 4 am, cruelly, they were tucked into bed in a darkened room and told to stay awake. The researchers measured heart rate and brainwave activity to monitor how alert the subjects were and whether they fell asleep. “Even the lowest dose of CX717 improved the wakefulness and cognitive performance of sleep-deprived people”Even the lowest dose of CX717 significantly improved the sleep-deprived volunteers' wakefulness and cognitive performance. And the more ampakine they took, the more they improved and the longer the effect lasted. Roger Stoll, CEO of Cortex, the Irvine-based company in California that owns the drug, announced the trial results at an investors' conference on 4 May. While specifics were scant, he mentioned that in the dark room, for instance, most volunteers taking placebo dozed off within about 3 minutes, while some ampakine users stayed awake for the entire 15-minute test. And on a test of sustained attention, effects kicked in within an hour of consuming the drug, he revealed. Crucially, the subjects suffered none of the jitteriness that comes with caffeine or amphetamines. "It generates a state of cortical wakefulness without stimulation," says Lynch. CX717 will have to undergo further clinical trials before gaining approval as a drug. Cortex is considering it as a possible treatment for narcolepsy, jet lag, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and Alzheimer's disease.