psych paper - Luis Meza Physical Psychology...

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Luis Meza Physical Psychology Tuesday-Thursday 8am-9:20am  December 11, 2003 Cognitive Enhancers
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PART ONE: Introduction My topic is cognitive enhancers; its definition can encompass many different types of drugs and functions. However cognitive enhancers are generally viewed as a compound or practice that will increase the positive abilities of memory and learning. Much of the present research and drug use are in diseases like Parkinson’s, Multiple Sclerosis, Huntington’s and Alzheimer’s. Alzheimer’s disease is a horrible affliction that causes people who have it to begin to lose the functions of memory. This can range from the loss of old memories, the loss of the ability to create new memories and even the inability to communicate. The progression of this disease can range from 4-20 years; currently there are over 4.5 million Americans with Alzheimer’s. However that number is projected to double in just 10 years, the number of Alzheimer’s patients will even increase further once the baby boomers enter ages of 70-80 where the affliction rate of Alzheimer’s can be close to 50 percent. So obviously the focus of cognitive enhancers is on the disease treatment side, but some pharmaceutical companies are rumored to be seeking cognitive enhancers for healthy people. The market for such a cognitive enhancer that could increase the ease of memorization and decrease the time needed for education is massive and its introduction would alter society from its foundation up. Imagine the ability for anyone to absorb all of the information needed to graduate from college as a doctor in a matter of months not years and at a minimal cost. The social progression of all people would suddenly be very possible and with minimal effort assuming the cognitive enhancers would be affordable and available to all.
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Obviously it won’t be as simple as marketing Alzheimer drugs to healthy people; most drugs engineered to hamper the progression of Alzheimer also have many side effects that although are tolerated in Alzheimer patients wouldn’t be tolerable in a healthy individual. Also drugs that treat the destructive methods of Alzheimer’s could have no positive effects to memory formation in healthy human beings because they don’t have a diseased memory system (it would be like trying to clean soap). But the research that is being done for the next generation of Alzheimer drugs might just be able to be used positively in healthy human memory enhancement. Tim Tully is a leading researcher in the field of memory; he has come to the
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This note was uploaded on 04/08/2008 for the course PSYCH 190 taught by Professor Janes during the Fall '06 term at Santa Barbara City.

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psych paper - Luis Meza Physical Psychology...

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