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"[Science fiction is] nightmares and visions, always outlined by the barely possible."
- Gregory Benford

Methuen Treatment  
  Injections that increase intelligence.  

Professor Methuen is described in the story as a "storklike man with a gray goatee" - and he has a rather puckish sense of humor when it comes to inventions. Especially after he tries his own special treatment to increase intelligence.

"I think my original theory was right; that the electrical resistance of the gaps between human neurons is already as low as it can be, so the Methuen injections won't have any appreciable effect on a human being. Sorry, Johnny, but I'm afraid your boss won't become any great genius as a result of trying a dose of his own medicine.

The Methuen treatment had raised Johnny's intelligence from that of a normal black bear to that of a human being...

From The Exalted, by L. Sprague de Camp.
Published by Astounding Science-Fiction in 1940
Additional resources -

It turns out that the Methuen Treatment does have an effect on human beings, but not quite in the manner expected. Click on the link to the story title in the above paragraph to see some of his prankster inventions.

Research shows that the processing speed of your brain does decline with age; some neuroscientists believe that a slowdown in processing speed may be the primary factor in age-related changes in cognition. Processing speed declines consistently across the adult lifespan.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from The Exalted
  More Ideas and Technology by L. Sprague de Camp
  Tech news articles related to The Exalted
  Tech news articles related to works by L. Sprague de Camp

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