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September 15, 2005
When Are You Most Alert?
People reach their peak of alertness between 6pm and 7pm according to Circadian Technologies. From an evolutionary perspective, this time of day, early evening, was most likely spent securing the hearth for a safe night's sleep. Human alertness also rises at dawn or early morning. While a CMO magazine piece warns employers that trying to mess with this natural cycle won't get them very far, emerging neurotechnologies from companies like Cortex Pharmaceuticals are making are making headway on improving alertness and attention.
Located in Irvine, California, Cortex is a neuroscience company focused on novel drug therapies for neurological and psychiatric disorders. The company is pioneering a new class of proprietary pharmaceuticals called AMPAKINE compounds, which act to increase the strength of signals at connections between brain cells. The loss of these connections is thought to be responsible for memory and behavior problems in Alzheimer's disease. Many psychiatric diseases, including schizophrenia, occur as a result of imbalances in the brain's neurotransmitter system. These imbalances may be improved by using the AMPAKINE technology.
A recently completed clinical study with AMPAKINE compounds in patients with schizophrenia indicated improvement in a number of symptoms also common to patients with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder ("ADHD"'). The US Department of Defense is also studying the use of these compounds to improve alertness in air force pilots and infantry.
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