EFFECT OF MEMORY
ENHANCERS ON SOCIETY
• The use of memory enhancing drugs will
increase the divisions in society and should be
prohibited in the same way as drugs of abuse
MEMORY ENHANCERS ????
• Drugs that are purported to improve mental
functions such as cognition, memory,
intelligence, motivation, attention and
• Stimulants = smart drugs = productivity
• Memory enhancement drugs are widely used
in the Rx of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, ADHD.
• Long term effects are not observed.
• They give you a huge boost to stay ahead in the
• Most memory enhancement drugs are used for
the treatment of disease like Alzheimer’s ADHD.
• It has also been proven to significantly improve
the ability to stay awake in patients suffering
from sleeping disorder like narcolepsy (Provigil -
• The use of medical stimulants to sustain
attention, augment memory and enhance
intellectual capacity is increasing in society .
a) Adderall and Ritalin - They have been found helpful for the
inattentiveness, trouble focusing on specific tasks, poor memory
b) Provigil- Provigil is a stimulant used to promote wakefulness in people
with narcolepsy or shift work sleep disorder (SWSD). It has been used by
U.S. soldiers in combat and at the International Space Station. It has
been tried experimentally for Alzheimer’s, jet lag, ADHD, and chronic
fatigue. Provigil is the most popular brand name for the generic drug
Modafinil. Modafinil controls the amount of natural substances in the
brain, responsible for sleep and wakefulness.
c) Piracetam- Piracetam has been used for a variety of conditions including
Alzheimer’s and autism.
d) Methylphenidate- It acts by developing the reuptake of the
neurotransmitters nor- adrenaline and dopamine, which prolongs their
biochemical affects in the central neuron system. This has been shown t
result in an increase in attention and a decrease in restlessness in
children and adults diagnosed with ADHD.
• It is human tendency and nature to push ourselves beyond
• Smart drug may enhance focus but do not make you smarter
• “Less side effect” is fake argument
• Increase the capacity of restoration of memory will reduce
• Chance of mood swing and irritation behavior
• People who have memory enhancers would withdraw from social
• Danger of addiction
• These drugs keep awake but for consolidation memory requires
• It makes life more mechanical.
• Suppose these enhance the memory of students
to get into good universities, then students needs
• Many sections of society can not afford for it,
again its morally cheating the society .
• Suppose this drug is effective, what about “
– We learn language from human interactions and
cultural background of the language spoken in
Other Adverse effects
• People who having memory enhancer would withdraw
from social interaction
• Frequent urination - Constantly need to visit toilet.
• It affect the food intake
• Side effects such as ,
– serious rashes,
– mouth ulcers,
– thought of suicide,
– vomiting and
– irregular heart beat.
Should adults with severe memory and concentration
problems from neuropsychiatric disorders be given
cognitive-enhancing drugs? YES
• cholinesterase inhibitors are being used to
ameliorate the impaired neural transmission
in the cholinergic system. Such drugs aim to
increase the levels of acetylcholine, a
neurotransmitter important for maintaining
attention and in forming new memories, and
may have additional neuro-protective effects.
• According to McCabe et al report (USA), non-
medical use of memory enhancers is 25% in
• 7% of students report having taken stimulants
“non-medically” at least once.
• For students, surveys suggest a lifetime
prevalence of CE drug use ranging from 3% to
11% in the U.S. and 0.7% to 4.5% in Germany
What makes people use memory
• Approach towards winning and losing.
• To sustain in growing academic competition.
• If majority of students use stimulants, non-
users would feel certain amount of pressure to
follow suit in order to remain competitive.
What will happen?
• Nootropics would probably make an uneven
playing field which is unfair and one that is likely
only to favor wealthy who can afford to purchase
• Not only do the rich get richer but in future; they
might get smarter.
• Educational inequalities between social classes.
• Cost-effective nootropics can help with
cognitive performance in students with lower
• These drugs might free underperforming
students from ‘neurological handicaps’ rather
than creating an uneven playing field.
• By all analysis; memory boosting can be done
only by two ways, ie
2. Physical exercise.
• IQ has heritability
• Using memory enhancers is cheating because
of unfair advantage.
• Idea of memory enhancing misleading.
• The implication of methylphenidate use by healthy
medical students and doctors in south Africa, Chad
Berjoi, Ciara Staunton and Kaymanthri Moodley.
• memory enhancement: the issues we should not forget
about, laura y. Cabrera
• Maher B. Poll results: look who’s doping. Nature
[Internet]. Nature Publishing Group; 2008 Apr 10 [cited
2015 Jan 16];452(7188):674–5.
• Professor's little helper
Barbara Sahakian and Sharon Morein-Zamir are at the
University of Cambridge, Department of Psychiatry and
the MRC/Wellcome Trust Behavioural and Clinical
Neuroscience Institute, Cambridge CB2 2QQ, UK.
• The Rationale for Consuming Cognitive Enhancement
Drugs in University Students and Teachers
Sebastian Sattler, Carsten Sauer,Guido Mehlkop, Peter
Faculty of Humanities, Bundeswehr University Munich,
Published: July 17, 2013