'Smart drugs': Do they work? Are they ethical? Will they be legal?

Rose, Steven P.R. (2002). 'Smart drugs': Do they work? Are they ethical? Will they be legal? Neuroscience, 3(12) pp. 975–979.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/nrn984

Abstract

Beyond pharmacological approaches to the treatment of memory loss that results from Alzheimer's disease or stroke, there lies a broad diagnostic penumbra of 'age-associated memory impairment'. New research that offers to attain the ancient goal of improving our cognitive ability raises an important issue — the use, by healthy people, of such pharmacological tools as cognitive enhancers. Here, I review the history and effectiveness of such supposed 'nootropics', and the ethical, social and legal issues raised by their potential use in disease and in the enhancement of 'normal' cognition.

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