Remember the movie “Limitless” released in 2011, in which Bradley Cooper gulps a pill and reaches to a whole new level of intelligence. Now the pill is available for real called Donepezil.
Donepezil is basically used to treat Alzheimers. It also has severe side affects like it shortens the life of a person.
Here’s how it works: Donepezil boosts serotonin and acetylcholine in the brain, chemicals that are usually found in high concentrations in the brains of young children which naturally decrease with age. As a cholinesterase inhibitor, Donezepil boosts brain function by increasing the amount of acetylcholine around nerve endings. In dementia and Alzheimer’s patients, the drug has been shown to improve memory function.
The drug helps a developed brain return to the chemistry of the “critical periods,” when our brains are young and learning new things at peak capacity, making it easier to learn new languages, absorb more information faster and remember it all- the possibilities are literally limitless.
As we get older, our brains lose this elasticity, making it harder for us to learn new skills, but for good reason. Our brains continue to learn: That’s why adults aren’t as crazy as teenagers, because adult brains aren’t as sensitive or reactive to external factors and experience teaches us to know better. That’s the potential danger with a drug like this. You return your brain to a state when you can learn a lot easier because you are ultra-sensitive to all stimuli in your environment, but it also makes it easier for that stimuli to affect you, for better or worse.
The worst case scenario? You take this drug to be smarter but your personality can be destroyed by external stresses- it’s like being an emotional mess and losing yourself in high school again.
As this drug is pretty much only used for Alzheimer’s patients, don’t get your hopes up on getting your hands on it. As amazing as this drug is with all the potential it could bring to a normal person’s brain, is it worth the danger? Who would consider taking this drug?