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Nervenarzt. 2014 Dec;85(12):1536-43. doi: 10.1007/s00115-013-3977-3.

[Neuroenhancement].

[Article in German]

Author information

1
Klinik für Psychiatrie, Psychotherapie und Psychosomatik, RWTH Aachen, Pauwelsstr. 30, 52074, Aachen, Deutschland, ggruender@ukaachen.de.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Cognitive enhancement or neuroenhancement describes the increase in cognitive performance in humans by means of psychotropic drugs or brain stimulation methods, such as transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS).

PROBLEM:

This article discusses the potential of pharmacological cognitive enhancement with some of the most common drugs.

METHODS:

A selective literature search was performed taking into account the most important groups of substances (i.e. caffeine, nicotine, stimulants including modafinil, and acetylcholine esterase inhibitors) for which studies on the pharmacological elevation of cognitive performance in healthy subjects are available.

RESULTS:

The extent of the effects that can be pharmacologically achieved is essentially genetically determined. Some of the best-characterized polymorphisms are described here. Pharmacological enhancement of cognitive performance is currently possible with all of the compounds described here and caffeine and nicotine are used by millions of people without the explicit intention of most consumers of cognitive enhancement.

DISCUSSION:

Clinical neuroscientists are required to share their expertise to a greater extent in the social discourse on cognitive enhancement in the future in order to influence opinion-forming and decision-making processes.

PMID:
25403289
DOI:
10.1007/s00115-013-3977-3
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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