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How can I improve my memory retention during studying?

Sensei_knight (177557) writes | about 3 months ago

4

Sensei_knight (177557) writes "How serendipitous! Today I see Slashdot also has an article linking caffeine to long-term memory, but I digress. Recently I returned to college in my 30s after battling a childhood sleep disorder and I now discover staying awake might be the least of my troubles. Now that I failed a few classes I'm trying to analyze and overcome the causes of this recent disaster. Two things are obvious. First, it takes me way too long to complete tasks (as if suffering from time dilation) tests take me approximately twice the amount of time to finish[and the amount of time it takes to study and do homework is cumulative and unsustainable]. Secondly, I just can't seem to remember a whole lot. I know sleep and memory are very closely related, perhaps that's why I have never been able to commit the times tables to memory. my research in the subject of memory has not been very fruitful, therefore I want to ask/Slashdots for input into which angle/direction I should look into next. As for cognitive speed I have completely drawn a blank."

4 comments

Anti-epilepsy drug(s)? (1)

mi (197448) | about 3 months ago | (#45944601)

Reportedly [theweek.com], valproic acid [wikipedia.org] — normally used to treat seizures and epilepsy — allows healthy adults to learn things as well as a 7 year-olds do...

No FDA approval for the use of any drugs containing the compound has been issued — not for the memory-enhancement purposes, of course...

Provigil (1)

pcwhalen (230935) | about 3 months ago | (#45946399)

The generic is Modafinil (http://www.provigil.com/) Not a stimulant but "an aid to wakefulness." If you have a sleep disorder, get the usual sleep apnea, CPAP and the rest, but Provigil works wonders, YMMV.

Good luck with school.

Disability Testing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45946675)

Well the first step if you are struggling is to go see your Academic Advisor or "advising" and get help ASAP. If you find that you are studying a lot, and be honest with yourself, and you are still not completing your tests with adequate time then its time to think about a visit to your colleges "Disability Services", "Testing Services", "Disability Coordinator" or what ever your college calls it. It could be that you have some sort of cognitive disorder that you might be eligible for extra time on tests and such. As for memorization, you need to find something that works for you. Using more then one sense when studying will help your memory retention. So when you are studying, reading aloud from the book. Making physical flashcards that you write out with pen/pencil will help because you are also using your tactile senses to reenforce what you are learning.

modafinil ('Provigil') (1)

Trax3001BBS (2368736) | about 3 months ago | (#45947655)

I used to have a list of drugs that improved memory this is all I can find, no link just a text file.

THE GOOD DRUG GUIDE

"...modafinil ('Provigil') is a memory-improving and mood-brightening
psychostimulant. It enhances wakefulness and vigilance, but its pharmacological
profile is notably different from the amphetamines, methylphenidate (Ritalin) or
cocaine. Modafinil is less likely to cause jitteriness, anxiety, or excess
locomotor activity - or lead to a hypersomnolent 'rebound effect' - than
traditional stimulants. Subjectively, it feels smoother and cleaner than the
amphetamines too. The normal elimination half-life of modafinil in humans is
between 12 - 15 hours. So it's worth fine-tuning one's dosage schedule
accordingly.

Current research suggests modafinil, like its older and better-tested analogue
adrafinil, is a safe, effective and well-tolerated agent. It is long-acting and
doesn't tend to cause peripheral sympathetic stimulation. Yet its CNS action isn't
fully understood. Modafinil induces wakefulness in part by its action in the
anterior hypothalamus. Its dopamine-releasing action in the nucleus accumbens is
weak and dose-dependent; the likelihood of a euphoric response ('abuse potential'),
dose-escalation and tolerance is thus apparently small. Modafinil has central
alpha 1-adrenergic agonist effects i.e. it directly stimulates the receptors.
Modafinil inhibits the reuptake of noradrenaline by the noradrenergic terminals
on sleep-promoting neurons of ventrolateral preoptic nucleus (VLPO). More
significant, perhaps, is its ability to increase excitatory glutamatergic
transmission. This reduces local GABAergic transmission, thereby diminishing
GABA(A) receptor signalling on the mesolimbic dopamine terminals.

Modafinil is proving clinically useful in the treatment of narcolepsy, a
neurological disorder marked by uncontrollable attacks of daytime sleepiness.
Narcolepsy is caused by dysfunction of a family of wakefulness-promoting and
sleep-suppressing peptides, the orexins. Orexin neurons are activated by
modafinil. Orexinergic neurons are found exclusively in the lateral hypothalamic
area, but their fibers project to the entire central nervous system. Genetically
modified orexin-knockout animals offer a model of human narcolepsy. Selective
orexin receptor agonists of the future may prove useful both to narcoleptics and
the population at large.

Experimentally, modafinil is also used in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease,
depression, attention-deficit disorder, myotonic dystrophy, multiple sclerosis-induced
fatigue, post-anaesthesia grogginess, cognitive impairment in schizophrenia, age-related
memory decline, idiopathic hypersomnia, jet-lag, and everyday cat-napping. In
September 2003, an advisory panel to the FDA endorsed its use for treating shift
work sleep disorder and obstructive sleep apnea.

The US military are interested in modafinil too.

Modafanil is marketed as 'Alertec" in Canada - and over the Net. 'Alertec' is
less expensive than 'Provigil'. Cheap generic modafinil should be available from
2006. But Cephalon is vigorously litigating to defend its patents.

Modafinil is increasingly used as a 'lifestyle drug' - a lucrative 'off-label'
market its makers have not been unduly keen to discourage. Some prescribing
physicians have reportedly been surprised at a previously hidden epidemic of
narcolepsy among hard-working young professionals attending their surgeries.

Prudence, however, should be exercised in drastically curtailing one's sleep.
Prolonged sleeplessness weakens immune function. Animals tortured in sleep-deprivation
experiments eventually die from massive bacterial infections of the blood..."

------------------
The newest version is called Nuvigil and runs close to $20 a tablet.
Provigil was to of lost it's patent in 2012 reducing it's cost substantially, not sure what happened, just that it's still patented and for a very long time.

Modafinil turns into Provigil after you take it but you can read up on that. The majority of Provigil sold on the Internet is Modafinil from India.

And know it is spendy. A cheaper route is adderall, but having a sleep disorder I'm sure your familiar with
amphetamines and mayhaps modafanil as well.

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