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From Treating Mental Dysfunction to Neuroenhancement

  • Michael KochEmail author
Chapter
  • 1.5k Downloads
Part of the Happiness Studies Book Series book series (HAPS)

Abstract

Progress in psychopharmacology over recent years has increased not only the possibilities of treating mental dysfunction but also of enhancing cognitive performance and happiness in healthy adults. This chapter reviews the neurobiological basis of drugs that are currently used to treat neuropsychiatric disorders such as anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s disease, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or addiction. It outlines how these drugs can improve mental processes and emotional states, e.g., by binding to specific receptors, inhibiting the uptake or metabolism of neurotransmitters. The contours of a cosmetic psychopharmacology similar to plastic surgery or fertility medicine are becoming visible as drugs like Prozac or Modafinil spread among the healthy population. Ethical, legal and social concerns associated with “brain doping” to maximize cognitive functioning and well-being are at a nascent stage but a broad discussion is needed now.

Keywords

Autism Spectrum Disorder Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Synaptic Cleft Exposure Therapy Cognitive Enhancer 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Brain Research Institute, Department of Neuropharmacology, Center for Cognitive Sciences COGNIUMUniversity of BremenBremenGermany

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