Page last updated at 13:42 GMT, Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Do cognitive-enhancing drugs work?

Cognitive-enhancing drugs are normally prescribed to treat medical conditions such as Alzheimer's disease, but some people are now using them to try to improve their memory and help them study, often without knowing the medical risks.

Newsnight's Science editor Susan Watts looks at the debate surrounding these drugs and turns guinea pig herself, taking Modafinil (Provigil), a drug normally used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and undergoing a series of tests to see if her memory, strategy and planning improved.

PLEASE NOTE: Before taking the drug, Susan Watts had to satisfy a neurologist that there were no risks for her and had trained medical staff nearby in case of any unforeseen difficulties.

Broadcast on Wednesday 9 November 2011.

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