11/21/2004

Brain food

If you had the chance to take a pill that would enhance your memory and sharpen your mental response would you? Who wouldn't? But why do we need these pills? If these pills can help the ill then they should be sold. But why are they needed by those who are healthy?

In the past decade there has been much advancement in genetics, molecular biology, and brain-imaging technology. There are over 40 potential enhancers currently being developed. This can help cure the 4.5 million people that suffer from Alzheimers. In 15 years, an expected 6 million will be diagnosed with it. I personally can tell you that this would be a miracle. Some people do not know how hard it is to look at a family member and tell them you love them when they have no idea who you are. Live's can change if these new drugs become a success.

Will it be taken advantage of? Will people be buying this drug, perhaps on the black market, in order to help themself? Will businesses want this drug so that they can remember everything about their customers? This drug could change everything.

9 comments:

pramahaphil said...

What a fantastic new development in medicine. While I do agree that the potential for abuse is substantial, the possible benefits far outweigh any of the risks.

This situation reminds of the possibilities that exist with the research that is not being allowed with stem cells.

Student 01 said...

If the drug is safe why withhold it from anyone who can pay for it. If one or two people get hold of this memory enhancing drug then the playing field will no longer be level. However, if everyone who wanted this pill could get it then everyone has an increased advantaged. Just think of the scientific advances that could occur.

Taber Wolrab said...

I think people will certainly take advantage of the drug. If this drug really works, it doesn't matter if it is legal or not, people will get hold of it to enhance their own memory's whether they are healthy or not. If it is such a good drug that really does enhance memory, why not sell it to anybody who wants. It would be nice to remember everything we learn in class!

Biancca said...

I will believe it when I see it. I don't believe in miracle medicine and I expect the reason the "pills" are taking so long to appear in the market is because they aren't miraculous. Miraculous developments have the potential to bring in so much money that I believe if something like that did exist no one could stop them from being sold.

Maudi said...

I being the grandson of a man who has this disease am 100% behind this new experimental drug. What a wonderful thing it would be to know that the stories my grandfather tells me are from his memory and the they are not made up. I hope that the FDA will realize the importance of this drug and allow these people who suffer to suffer no more.

Jake said...

Anything that can enhance an individuals memory should be made available on the free market. If it is not available on the free market people will still get a hold of it, just like anything else society is not supposed to be able to have. Each consumer would obviously want to better their lives, and if studies show that there are no harmful affects, then why not offer it to the public.

miles said...

This pill offers plenty of benefits but I'm not sure that the benefits will outweigh the costs. The cost include people getting addicted and abusing the drug. Another thing to consider is that at first this memory pill will help, but like any other drug people will eventually need more and more of it to get the same effect. I think that people will take advantage of this drug and managers should be careful about issuing it.

Kristin said...

With a rise in the convinience food market, many products are being made to accommodate our rushed society. Many of the processing ingridients are not best for our body. Natural nutrition is taken out as part of the process, and is supplemented in by other "things". Sometimes metals are added in like Aluminum, Copper, etc. to help make the foods malleable. These "ingredients" are marketed to be good, but in actuality take a long time to be processed by the body and stay in the blood steam for a very long time. Then, fats attach onto these metals creating a luminous junk yard that can be seem under a dark microscope. It is these metals and fats which cannot enter out of the body that lead to disease and Alzheimers. If people want to have sharper memory and mental response, start eating a REAL meal in the morning (like - not cold cereal or noriche) and eat good food throughout the day. Stop the fast food stops and hours or skipping in between eating. We don't need pills, we need to be educated about the foods we are putting in our bodies. Because people are not educated, there probably will be a great demand for these pills and pharmacuetical companies will be able to reap high profits while it is under patent. Although they will profess these profits are not as high as they seem because of the costs associated with research and production. ATC, VC, MC will all play a part here in the outcome associated with profits.

Dr. Tufte said...

Ooh. This is a juicy one - who cares about the economics.

First thought: isn't this what caffeine already does? That could explain why it is the single most heavily used drug on the planet.

Second thought: medical students have been using amphetamines for a long time for expressly this purpose.

Third thought: when we use our brains more actively our bodies crave simple carbohydrates which produce the energy we need more readily.

My guess is that some people would take this stuff - a significant minority - but probably not a majority. That's the way that steroids and cosmetic surgery have worked out.

Now, here's the economics idea (from Landsburg). The net benefit of this advance will be zero for most of us. The reason is that the we will buy the product until its marginal benefits equal our marginal costs. Sorry to rain on your parade.

BTW: a big feature of the Dune science fiction series was the division of society into classes based on what drugs they took to accentuate particular mental abilities.