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Smart drugs

'Smart drugs', claiming to improve memory and intelligence, appeared in the early 1990s. They are believed to work either by increasing the blood flow to the brain or by boosting the release of certain brain chemicals. They were originally developed to help people who had suffered a stroke, and those with Alzheimer disease (who lose their memory over time). But there is no evidence that smart drugs improve the memory of healthy people.

'Smart drugs' may act on the brain to improve memory.
'Smart drugs' may act on the brain to improve memory.
National Medical Slide Bank/Wellcome Photo Library

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