Adderall can improve your memory and attention, says study

Even if it’s just a placebo effect

Taking an Adderall before studying can improve your memory, according to a new study.

Researchers tested the effects of Adderall on test subjects' memory and saw a slight improvement compared to those who didn't – though it was mainly attributed to a placebo effect.

Psychiatrists at the University of Alabama issued four sets of cognitive tests to 32 young people without ADHD. In two of them, they were given 10 milligrams of Adderall and in the others they received a placebo.

Adderall produced a slight improvement on two memory and attention tests compared to the placebo. And just being told they were taking Adderall had a stronger effect (when it was in fact a placebo) gave a better result on six of the 31 tests overall.

Interestingly, students performed worst when they had taken a placebo that was actually Adderall.

Rachel Fargason, who co-wrote the paper in Drug and Alcohol Dependence, told New Scientist: "Expectation seemed to have more of an effect on objective performance than the actual medication state."

"In terms of the value for learning, it’s not clear it really would make that much of a difference,” she added.

Adderall and Vyvanse are incredibly popular in college – a Tab survey of self-selecting students found 44 percent had tried study drugs for school.

Read our interview with a student Adderall dealer here.