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Cognative Enhancing Drugs

Went back to the Dana Centre this evening for a play followed by a debate on Cognative Enhancing Drugs.

Do we want pills that make us remember things better?
If there was someone next to you offering you one for free would you take it?

Also if they were Pills developed that would aid memory how should they be distributed:
- Open for everyone to buy?
- Only available on prescription? or with certain other limits?
- Only for people with Alzheimers, etc?

Obviously at the moment we have drugs like Ritolin which we happily feed to all the people we accuse of having ADHD to make them normal. Scarey thing being the number of American children that get diagnosed and hence treated...

If they were available would we need drugs tests before exams? After all these would be the cognative equivalent of steroids.

I must admit I find it worrying how much we rely on drugs as a culture. Who knows what side effects may materialise in the future from such a drug (which we may not know about at first)?

Even with Alzheimers, surely once the damage is done, it's done. Even if you repair the brains memory functions you won't be able to get those memories back. In which case the "fixed" person would be an entirely different one to the one before alzheimers set in.


( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
30th Sep, 2005 04:32 (UTC)
It's a very interesting subject. I remember some comedian or other advocating a drug-taking olympics. One in which athletes could take whatever they wanted... just to see how well they could really do and how many of them died.

Don't you think in some ways people already take performance enhancing drugs? I mean loads of people drink coffee to give them a buzzy edge when at work. I, of course, can't do that myself, and I find it very unfair that when we're all exhausted they can take something to liven themselves up where as I have to rely on just myself. Maybe I should start snorting speed in the staffroom.

My mum worked as a community paediatrician in Leeds for a long time... 25-30 years I guess, and she says she has only prescribed ritalin once. So yeah overprescription is a real problem. Have you seen the South Park which addresses that? It is pretty interesting actually.

Actually neurones can grow back and more importantly new pathways be found. Maybe if there was a drug which made the brain better at creating new information pathways then alzheimers could be partially reversed. And we are all a different person today to the one we were yesterday anyhow. My mum is not the same person she was before she started on her crazy drug cocktail that allow her to (almost) walk and talk and not die, but how much of that is due to the drugs and how much due to being in her situation it really is impossible to say. I suppose what I am trying to say is that in some cases it is better to lose something to gain something than to lose everything.
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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