The study of cognition and cognitive enhancement has held the attention of a wide group of scientists for many decades. Cognition is affected by numerous intrinsic and extrinsic factors and is altered across various disease states such as Alzheimerâ€™s, schizophrenia, and Down syndrome. Going forward, it is important to continue to improve our clinical methodology for cognition assessment with a focus on the different cognitive domains altered in each disease or illness. Aiding this enhancement will be the study of new experimental drugs in animals as we now have procedures in hand for rodents and nonhuman primates that mirror those used in humans and, indeed, were developed for the specific study of domains such as attention, working memory, visualâ€“spatial learning, recognition memory, and emotional memory. This approach will increase the efficiency of translation of animal data to human studies. To date, it has been difficult to find drugs that improve cognition in disease states. There are now, however, a number of receptor
targets and intracellular signaling pathways that have been linked to cognition, and hopefully, further research will identify the cognitive domain most affected by
modulation of some of these targets and pathways. One associated phenomenon is the process of hippocampal neurogenesis, a key to brain plasticity. A better
understanding of the physiology and biochemistry of neurogenesis could lead to new therapies for cognitive enhancement or biomarkers for cognition change tracking.
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|May 30, 2020|
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