- Currently used cognitive enhancers are those that are widely available, rather than optimal for the user, the researchers note. These include drugs typically prescribed for treatment of ADHD (e.g., methylphenidate) and sleep disturbances such as narcolepsy (modafinil).
- Researchers want to quantify the effects with objective measures and thus predict the efficacy of the many drugs that may enhance various aspects of cognition — before costly preclinical studies and clinical trials are undertaken.
- The research uses an algorithm that maps expression data onto signaling pathways. The collective pathways and their activation form a “signaling pathway cloud” — a biological fingerprint of cognitive enhancement. Drugs can then be screened and ranked based on their ability to minimize, mimic, or exaggerate pathway activation or suppression within that cloud.
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