Drugs commonly taken to improve cognition only boost short-term focus – at high cost

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The use of prescription stimulants by those without medically diagnosed conditions marks a growing trend among young adults—particularly college students seeking a brain boost. But according to a study led by the University of California, Irvine, taking a nonprescribed psychostimulant may slightly improve a person's short-term focus but impede sleep and mental functions that rely on it—such as working memory.

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