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'Smart' drugs don't actually improve students' grades

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A new study shows ADHD medication does not guarantee improved school performance for children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. The Wall Street Journal reports that the benefits of the drugs, which include increased attention, concentration, and improved short-term memory, help students at first but do not translate into better grades. In the long-term, kids who take drugs like Ritalin or Adderall are just as likely to study as they are to get absorbed while browsing the Internet or talking to a friend. But the study shows that drugs didn't have positive effects on grades even with short bursts of studying. Students who crammed for a test the night before, even with the assistance of drugs, performed just as poorly as other procrastinators. The drugs alone may help kids sit still and interrupt class less, but it still takes work to get good grades.