Introduction. Increasing use of substances by university students to improve cognitive performance ('neuroenhacement') has been reported. This refers not only to over-the-counter supplements, energy drinks, coffee and tobacco, but also to psychostimulants and modafinil. Little is known about this phenomenon in Italy. Aims. To explore prevalence of use of substances as cognitive enhancers by Italian medical students and their attitudes towards prescription-only medication (methylphenidate, amphetamine, atomoxetine, modafinil) used for this purpose. Methods An ad hoc questionnaire was distributed to 433 medical students of the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia. Valid response rate was 83.8% (N=363). Results 271 students (74.7%) reported use of substances to improve cognition in the last 30 days. Coffee (73%, N=265) and tea (33.3%, N=121) were the most used, followed by caffeinated sodas (15.7%, N=57), tobacco (10.2%, N=37) and vitamin B supplements (8.8%, N=32). Prescription-only medicines were used by 2 students (0.6%) and, overall, only 4 students reported lifetime use (1.2%). 295 (83.3% ) students mentioned concerns about safety and side effects as main reasons not to use. Use of cognitive enhancers as a group in the last 30 days slightly correlated with alcohol (r = 0.124; p = 0.023) and cannabis use (r = 0.114; p = 0.036). Conclusions Italian medical students use many substances as cognitive enhancers, but this seems not to apply to psychostimulants and modafinil. Cultural and regulatory differences may underlie this difference with other Countries, which warrants further research.
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|Data di pubblicazione:||2015|
|Titolo:||Neuroenhancer use amongst Italian medical students: a survey|
|Autori:||Pighi M; Ferrari S; Pingani L; Pontoni G; Rigatelli M; Galeazzi GM.|
|Nome del convegno:||23rd European Congress of Psychiatry (EPA 2015)|
|Luogo del convegno:||Vienna|
|Data del convegno:||28-31 March 2015|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||Abstract in Rivista|
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