Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Non-academic young people take brain stimulants more frequently than students

19.03.2014

Three per cent of young men in Switzerland take cognitive enhancement drugs at least once each year.

Students hope this consumption will improve their exam performance, while their non-academic contemporaries seek primarily to remain awake for longer. These are the conclusions reached by a study supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF).

“Brain stimulants”, “Neuroenhancers” and “Smart Pills” – the terms used for chemical-induced cognitive enhancement are numerous. While these substances are actually intended for use in the treatment of attention disorders, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's, they are often taken for other purposes. In the USA, one in every 20 students uses drugs such as Ritalin or Prozac at least once a year, despite not actually suffering from an attention deficit disorder or from depression. What is the situation in Switzerland?

Less than in the USA

... more about:
»Ritalin »SNF »cognitive »disorders »drugs »substances

Researchers led by Gerhard Gmel at the University Hospital Lausanne (CHUV) surveyed young men called up for conscription to the army recruitment centres in Lausanne, Windisch and Mels, on the frequency of and reasons for their use of cognitive enhancers. In a recently published evaluation (*), the researchers find that the use of cognitive enhancers in Switzerland is less prevalent than in the USA; only 180 of 5,967 participants in the study (around three per cent) had used brain-stimulating drugs at least once in the previous year.

Exams and partying

The researchers detected large differences between students and non-academics of the same age. On average, students take various cognitive enhancers five times a year. Their primary aim is to improve performance, for example in exams. Their non-academic contemporaries take drugs almost weekly, or around 40 times a year on average; most use Ritalin and other drugs that are prescribed for attention disorders. Their main motivation is to remain awake for longer, at parties, for example.

New prevention strategies

Gmel and his team believe the new figures reveal a need to widen the focus of studies into the consumption of cognitive enhancers. So far, attention has been primarily oriented towards (US-based) students. However, in Switzerland cognitive enhancers are being used to a greater extent by non-academics, for whom new prevention strategies will need to be developed.

(*) Stéphane Deline, Stéphanie Baggio, Joseph Studer, Alexandra N’Goran, Marc Dupuis, Yves Henchoz, Meichun Mohler-Kuo, Jean-Bernard Daeppen and Gerhard Gmel (2014). Use of Neuroenhancement Drugs: Prevalence, Frequency and Use Expectations in Switzerland. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 11: 3032-3045
(Available to journalists as a PDF file from the SNSF at the following e-mail address: com@snf.ch)

The C-Surf cohort study

Consumption of addictive substances among juveniles and young adults living in Switzerland is more frequent on average than in other European countries. The Cohort Study on Substance Use Risk Factors (C-Surf) is looking into the reasons and opportunities for prevention. With funding from the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF), and under the leadership of the University Hospital Lausanne (Centre hospitalier universitaire vaudois, CHUV) and the Institute for Social and Preventive Medicine (ISPM) at the University of Zurich, C-Surf studies young men over a period of at least ten years.
http://www.c-surf.ch

Contact
Dr Gerhard Gmel
Alcohol Treatment Centre
University Hospital Lausanne (CHUV)
CH-1011 Lausanne
Phone: +41 21 321 29 59
+41 21 314 73 52
E-mail: Gerhard.Gmel@chuv.ch

This press release can be found on the website of the Swiss National Science Foundation.

Weitere Informationen:

http://www.snf.ch/en/researchinFocus/newsroom/Pages/news-140319-mm-brain-stimula...

Media - Abteilung Kommunikation | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

Further reports about: Ritalin SNF cognitive disorders drugs substances

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht R&D - Fit for future
28.04.2015 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Arbeitswirtschaft und Organisation IAO

nachricht Emotion recognition ability pays off
27.04.2015 | WHU - Otto Beisheim School of Management

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Fast and Accurate 3-D Imaging Technique to Track Optically-Trapped Particles

KAIST researchers published an article on the development of a novel technique to precisely track the 3-D positions of optically-trapped particles having complicated geometry in high speed in the April 2015 issue of Optica.

Daejeon, Republic of Korea, April 23, 2015--Optical tweezers have been used as an invaluable tool for exerting micro-scale force on microscopic particles and...

Im Focus: NOAA, Tulane identify second possible specimen of 'pocket shark' ever found

Pocket sharks are among the world's rarest finds

A very small and rare species of shark is swimming its way through scientific literature. But don't worry, the chances of this inches-long vertebrate biting...

Im Focus: Drexel materials scientists putting a new spin on computing memory

Ever since computers have been small enough to be fixtures on desks and laps, their central processing has functioned something like an atomic Etch A Sketch, with electromagnetic fields pushing data bits into place to encode data.

Unfortunately, the same drawbacks and perils of the mechanical sketch board have been just as pervasive in computing: making a change often requires starting...

Im Focus: Exploding stars help to understand thunderclouds on Earth

How is lightning initiated in thunderclouds? This is difficult to answer - how do you measure electric fields inside large, dangerously charged clouds? It was discovered, more or less by coincidence, that cosmic rays provide suitable probes to measure electric fields within thunderclouds. This surprising finding is published in Physical Review Letters on April 24th. The measurements were performed with the LOFAR radio telescope located in the Netherlands.

How is lightning initiated in thunderclouds? This is difficult to answer - how do you measure electric fields inside large, dangerously charged clouds? It was...

Im Focus: On the trail of a trace gas

Max Planck researcher Buhalqem Mamtimin determines how much nitrogen oxide is released into the atmosphere from agriculturally used oases.

In order to make statements about current and future air pollution, scientists use models which simulate the Earth’s atmosphere. A lot of information such as...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

HHL Energy Conference on May 11/12, 2015: Students Discuss about Decentralized Energy

23.04.2015 | Event News

“Developing our cities, preserving our planet”: Nobel Laureates gather for the first time in Asia

23.04.2015 | Event News

HHL's Entrepreneurship Conference on FinTech

13.04.2015 | Event News

 
Latest News

‘Dead zones’ found in Atlantic open waters

28.04.2015 | Earth Sciences

Endangered corals smothered by sponges on overfished Caribbean reefs

28.04.2015 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

Tidal tugs on Teflon faults drive slow-slipping earthquakes

28.04.2015 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>