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European archives of psychiatry and clinical neuroscience

Neuroenhancement strategies for psychiatric disorders: rationale, status quo and perspectives.


PMID 22932721

Abstract

With the growing mechanistic understanding of higher brain functions like learning and memory, vigilance and social cognition, new pharmacological approaches for the treatment of psychiatric disorders arise. Substances used as neuroenhancers for the improvement of cognitive or emotional functions in healthy subjects might provide novel pharmacological opportunities in psychiatry. Intriguingly, drugs like modafinil, D-cycloserine or oxytocin have shown significant improvements in key symptoms in several psychiatric disorders. When used as augmentation strategies, they could either directly interfere with psychopathological impairments or improve response to other treatment modalities like psychotherapy or psychopharmacological drugs. While initial studies yielded promising results, further research on beneficial or adverse effects is required.