The American Medical Association has a lovely little journal focused on ethics called Virtual Mentor. Tthe title for this month’s issue is “Gray Matters: Neuroethics in the Twenty-First Century”, and it has a number of articles that are likely of interest to readers of this blog (full disclosure: the issue includes an article by me).
is also was previously an ethics poll on the website which tells readers that “Modafinil is a drug that is FDA-approved for treatment of narcolepsy.” The poll goes on to state “In widespread off-label use, it has been found to restore memory in older people who have age-associated memory loss (AAMI). Now the FDA is testing modafinil for that use.” To the best of my knowledge, there is neither data nor compelling anectodal information which demonstrates that modifinil restores memory in older or younger individuals [Update I: An early report suggested that modafinil improved performance in selected cognitive tasks in young individuals, but a recent meta-analysis holds that there are modest effects on attention, and that “the effects were not unequivocal for people in a normal state of wakefulness.” Restorative effects on memory in older individuals have not been seen.] Moreover, the FDA does not test drugs, but rather acts as regulator, evaluating drugs for claims of safety and efficacy. If any readers know of information which would suggest otherwise, please share it with us in the comments section.
Update II: Virtual Mentor has modified their ethics poll, dramatically improving it. I recommend that readers participate.
Full table of contents are listed below the fold.
Virtual Mentor. November 2010, Volume 12, Number 11: 839-907. Full Issue PDF
Gray Matters: Neuroethics in the Twenty-First Century
EDUCATING FOR PROFESSIONALISM
LAW, POLICY, AND SOCIETY
Medicine and Society
OP-ED AND CORRESPONDENCE
HISTORY, ART, AND NARRATIVE
Images of Healing and Learning
Suggested Readings and Resources
Virtual Mentor. 2010; 12:898-904.