'Puberty Pill' Could Make Kids Smarter
Drug would act on brain, blocking receptor that slows learning
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 19, 2010 11:44 AM CDT
A simple pill might soon make kids smarter.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Studying, schmudying: A pill that boosts teenagers’ ability to learn may be in the pipeline soon. A receptor in the hippocampus area of the brain appears to slow down learning when kids hit puberty, researchers at SUNY Downstate in Brooklyn report. Give kids a steroid to suppress that receptor, and they should—theoretically—get an instant long-term memory boost.

Until a drug is developed, a researcher says, the findings revealed another way to learn more: stressing out. Mild stress could act in much the same way as the steroid in suppressing the problematic receptor, she tells the Telegraph. That suggests that “different strategies for learning and motivation may be helpful in middle school.”