Maria Konnikova on smart drugs.

Can Pills Improve Your Intelligence?

Can Pills Improve Your Intelligence?

A daily news and culture podcast with Mike Pesca.
Aug. 6 2018 8:56 PM

The Smart Drug

One pill helps you focus. Another pill keeps you awake. Neither will make you smarter.

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Pills are used to treat conditions, not to improve healthy people.

Creatas/Thinkstock

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On The Gist, Turkey and Trump.

We’ve got another round of Is That Bullshit? Drugs treating cognitive malfunctions like narcolepsy, ADHD, and Alzheimer’s disease, are useful for people with those conditions—but what about the rest of us? Can ADHD medication make us smarter? Can narcolepsy drugs really keep us awake longer? Resident debunker Maria Konnikova explains.

In the Spiel, Jay Sekulow and lawyers on television.

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Podcast production by Daniel Schroeder and Pierre Bienaimé.

Mike Pesca is the host of the Slate daily podcast The Gist. He also contributes reports and commentary to NPR.