Basic and Applied Memory Research: Practical Applications - Vol. 2

By Douglas J. Herrmann; Cathy McEvoy et al. | Go to book overview

nature of the differentiated memory-cognitive response to candidate treatments. Consequently, we have begun to examine the mechanisms by which a drug may alter memory functions (based on both a functional analysis of an observed cognitive response as well as findings that would relate possible changes to underlying brain mechanisms, i.e., through the use of imaging methods in combination with cognitive activation techniques). The very basis on which we consider a drug to be of value in treating impaired memory has broadened and become more differentiated. For example, a drug may be considered useful if it attenuates the progression of impaired memory or the onset of a disease such as AD, even if it does not reverse memory symptoms.

Finally, an important byproduct of research on potentially memory-enhancing drugs is what such studies can teach us about the mechanisms of both impaired and normal memory. This clearly has been the case in attempts to develop animal models of memory impairments. Likewise, drug trials, when well designed, using sensitive and specific methods for characterizing subjects and response to treatments, can be enormously useful for testing our notions about the psychobiology of memory.


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Curran, H. V., & Birch, B. ( 1991). "Differentiating the sedative, psychomotor and amnesic effects of benzodiazepines: A study with midazolam and the benzodiazepine antagonist, flumazenil". Psychopharmacology, 103, 519-523.

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