Chapter

Drugs and memory

Heather Ashton

in Brain Function and Psychotropic Drugs

Published in print August 1992 | ISBN: 9780192622426
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191724749 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780192622426.003.0010
Drugs and memory

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Increasing interest has focused recently on the possibility of pharmacological treatment for memory disorders. Drugs, of course, cannot be expected to replace degenerated neurones, but they might theoretically improve the function of surviving neurones in chronic diseases, hasten neuronal recovery in acute conditions, and perhaps prevent further neuronal damage in both. Such measures are unlikely to have specific effects on memory, but may produce general improvement in mental efficiency. In other circumstances it is advantageous to facilitate forgetting. For example, the use of amnesic drugs as preoperative medication may not only calm the patient but also forestall the laying down of unpleasant memories.

Keywords: memory disorders; pharmacological treatment; neurones; neuronal recovery; mental efficiency; unpleasant memories

Chapter.  3429 words. 

Subjects: Neuroscience

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