Prescribing Cognitive Enhancers: A Primer
Human Bodies

Susan Gilbert

, 10/28/2009

Prescribing Cognitive Enhancers: A Primer

(Human Bodies) Permanent link

Over the last year, the general public has learned a lot about the use of Ritalin and other psychotropic drugs by healthy people to improve alertness and concentration. And with that awareness there appears to be a growing acceptance, or at least resignation, as a series of recent publications strongly suggests.

Is it cheating for students to take a drug to enhance their ability to learn difficult material or stay awake to study for a big test? Maybe not, according to an influential and widely publicized paper in Nature last December.

“In the context of sports, pharmacological performance enhancement is indeed cheating,” wrote the authors, a group of leading neuroscientists. “But, of course, it is cheating because it is against the rules. Any good set of rules would need to distinguish today's allowed cognitive enhancements, from private tutors to double espressos, from the newer methods, if they are to be banned.”

The authors continued, “We should welcome new methods of improving our brain function.”

Then, last April, an article in the New Yorker exposed the “underground world of neuroenhancing drugs.” Laying to rest any assumptions that this world is inhabited only by small fringe groups, the article said, “College campuses have become laboratories for experimentation with neuroenhancement…” Personal interviews with users and a review of the limited scientific literature supported the view that use of cognitive enhancers is not uncommon.  

The number of people asking doctors for off-label prescriptions of brain-boosting drugs has reached such a critical mass that the American Academy of Neurology decided that doctors needed guidance on how to respond. A statement, which covers ethical, legal, and societal issues, appears in Neurology. It pertains to adult patients, which would include college students 18 year and older.

“This report and guidance should not be construed either to promote or discourage the prescription of neuroenhancements,” the guidelines say. But if doctors do agree to write a prescription, here’s how they can do so ethically:

  • Tell patients that the medications have not been approved by the FDA for enhancing normal brain function and that there is a lack of evidence on their effects and risks on healthy people.
  • Explain the possible side effects and risks, such as the chance of addiction from modafinil, a narcolepsy drug prescribed off-label to ward off sleepiness.
  • Ask patients what they hope to gain from taking the drugs, such as becoming more competitive at work or school. “Clearly, specified goals, along with agreed-upon measures of success or failure, are particularly important when the long-term risks of neuroenhancement medications in normal patients are unknown,” the guidelines state.
  • Explain alternatives to a cognitive-enhancing medication (including not taking it).
  • Avoid or disclose conflicts of interest, such as owning significant amounts of stock in companies that make the drugs. “Neurologists who would potentially benefit from prescribing neuroenhancement to their patients…have an ethical obligation to so inform their patients,” the guidelines say.

 

The guidelines also offer some reasons for doctors to refuse to prescribe drugs for enhancement:

  • They have reason to believe that the harm exceeds the benefit for a particular patient. Such a reason would trump respect for patient autonomy, although doctors owe it to the patients to explain their reasons.
  • They have concerns about distributive justice, because neuroenhancement therapies will likely be available only to those who can afford to pay out of pocket. “Whether such an inequality of distribution will provide a sufficient basis to prohibit the use of neuroenhancement at all is an issue that will have to be addressed by the medical profession and society,” the guidelines state. “For the time being, neurologists may wish to consider the effects such limited access may have on society when deciding whether to provide enhancements to patients who request them.”

 

The guidelines may come as a surprise to people who are still puzzling out the ethical arguments for and against “Botox for the brain,” including the unanswered questions about safety. Isn’t it putting the cart before the horse to lay out an ethical framework for prescribing cognitive enhancers before we have agreed whether it is even ethical to use them?

The neurology association statement recognizes that question and then dispenses with it by saying that cognitive enhancers are likely to be considered ethically permissible by society and by the profession for two reasons. One is that they will come to be regarded as akin to cosmetic surgery for improving well-being. The other is that evidence is likely to show that their benefits outweigh their risks.  

Erik Parens, senior research scholar at The Hastings Center who studies enhancement issues, disagrees that widespread acceptance of and benefit from cognitive enhancers are a given. But whether society will wait to find out is another matter. Upon reading the guidelines, Parens said, “The hurricane seems ready to make land.”

 

Posted by Susan Gilbert at 10/28/2009 11:43:20 AM | 


Comments
Modalert (Modafinil) is used to improve wakefulness in patients with narcolepsy (sudden uncontrollable attacks of daytime sleepiness), obstructive sleep apnea/hypopnea syndrome, or in patients with shift work sleep disorder.
http://www.bestrxpharma.com/products/antinarcoleptic/modalert
Posted by: scorpiodbk@yahoo.com ( Email | Visit ) at 3/7/2011 10:17 AM


http://www.4rxonlineshop.com/products/antinarcoleptic/modalert

Modalert (Modafinil) is taken to control wakefulness in persons being treated from narcolepsy (sudden, uncontrollable and excessive daytime sleepiness) , obstructive sleep apnea, cataplexy (a sudden loss of muscle tone), shift work sleep disorder, and also Modalert (Modafinil) can be used for treating ADHD.

http://www.4rxonlineshop.com/products/antinarcoleptic/modalert

Modalert (Modafinil) is used for:
Improving wakefulness in patients with excessive sleepiness associated with narcolepsy or other sleep disorders. It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.Modalert (Modafinil) is a wakefulness-promoting agent. The exact way it works is not known, but it is thought to work by altering the natural chemicals (neurotransmitters) in the brain.
Read more >

Modalert (Modafinil) is used for:
Improving wakefulness in patients with excessive sleepiness associated with narcolepsy or other sleep disorders. It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.Modalert (Modafinil) is a wakefulness-promoting agent. The exact way it works is not known, but it is thought to work by altering the natural chemicals (neurotransmitters) in the brain.

How to use Modalert (Modafinil):
Use Modalert (Modafinil) as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

* Take Modalert (Modafinil) by mouth with or without food.
* Take Modalert (Modafinil) in the morning unless otherwise directed by your doctor.
* If you miss a dose of Modalert , take it as soon as possible. If you do not remember until late afternoon or evening, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use Modalert (Modafinil).

Possible side effects of Modalert:
All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

* Diarrhea; dizziness; dry mouth; headache; loss of appetite; nausea; nervousness; runny nose; trouble sleeping.

If you miss a dose of Modalert , take it as soon as possible. If you do not remember until late afternoon or evening, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

* Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); chest pain; exaggerated sense of well-being; mental or mood changes (eg, anxiety, depression).

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions or need medical advice about side effects, contact your doctor or health care provider.

Proper storage of Modalert (Modafinil):
Store Modalert (Modafinil) at room temperature, between 68 and 77 degrees F (20 and 25 degrees C). Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep Modalert (Modafinil) out of the reach of children and away from pets.

Free prescription
Our doctor prescribes online for free, and there is no doctor’s consultation fee.

Discrete packaging
All orders arrive in discrete unmarked parcels. We leave the shipment description blank.

For more answers see the FAQ section


Tags:
buy Modalert, order Modalert, cheap Modalert, free prescription, buy generic Modalert, Modalert buy online, buy Modafinil, order Modafinil, cheap Modafinil, buy generic Modafinil, Modafinil buy online, , Provigil, Vigicer, Vigil, Modapro, Modavigil, Alertec, Alertex, Modasomil, Nuvigil, Modafinil, Moderateafinil, Modiodal
Posted by: scorpiodbk@yahoo.com ( Email | Visit ) at 4/14/2011 6:12 PM


Can I just say what a relief to find someone who actually knows what theyre talking about on the internet. You definitely know how to bring an issue to light and make it important. More people need to read this and understand this side of the story. I cant believe youre not more popular because you definitely have the gift.
Posted by: magyblog@gmail.com ( Email | Visit ) at 8/16/2013 2:37 PM


Je suis vraiment impressionné par ce genre de choses merveilleux. Je préfère toujours lire le contenu de qualité et ce que j'ai trouvé en vous poste. Merci pour le partage
Posted by: chenghuiaa123456@163.com ( Email | Visit ) at 9/12/2014 5:45 AM