Memory enhancing drugs and Alzheimer’s Disease: Enhancing the self or preventing the loss of it? [Book Review]

Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 10 (2):141-151 (2007)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

In this paper we analyse some ethical and philosophical questions related to the development of memory enhancing drugs (MEDs) and anti-dementia drugs. The world of memory enhancement is coloured by utopian thinking and by the desire for quicker, sharper, and more reliable memories. Dementia is characterized by decline, fragility, vulnerability, a loss of the most important cognitive functions and even a loss of self. While MEDs are being developed for self-improvement, in Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) the self is being lost. Despite this it is precisely those patients with AD and other forms of dementia that provide the subjects for scientific research on memory improvement. Biomedical research in the field of MEDs and anti-dementia drugs appears to provide a strong impetus for rethinking what we mean by ‘memory’, ‘enhancement’, ‘therapy’, and ‘self’. We conclude (1) that the enhancement of memory is still in its infancy, (2) that current MEDs and anti-dementia drugs are at best partially and minimally effective under specific conditions, (3) that ‘memory᾿and ‘enhancement᾿are ambiguous terms, (4) that there is no clear-cut distinction between enhancement and therapy, and (5) that the research into MEDs and anti-dementia drugs encourages a reductionistic view of the human mind and of the self

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 93,031

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Qualitative Assessment of Self-Identity in Advanced Dementia.Sadhvi Batra, Jacqueline Sullivan, Beverly R. Williams & David S. Geldmacher - 2015 - Dementia: The International Journal of Social Research and Practice 15 (5):1260-1278.
The burden of dementia: A medical and research perspective.Piero Antuono & Jan Beyer - 1999 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 20 (1):3-13.
Cognitive Enhancing Drugs.Charlotte R. Housden, Sharon Morein-Zamir & Barbara J. Sahakian - 2011 - In Julian Savulescu, Ruud ter Meulen & Guy Kahane (eds.), Enhancing Human Capacities. Blackwell. pp. 113–126.
Moral Self-Orientation in Alzheimer's Dementia.Steve Matthews - 2020 - Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal 30 (2):141-166.
What Is Good or Bad in Mood Enhancement?Rein Vos - 2011 - In Julian Savulescu, Ruud ter Meulen & Guy Kahane (eds.), Enhancing Human Capacities. Blackwell. pp. 194–206.

Analytics

Added to PP
2013-12-01

Downloads
91 (#192,208)

6 months
26 (#116,068)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?