There has been some discussion in recent years about 'smart drugs - designed to enhance cognitive function.
Smart drugs are, indeed, well known and widely used - for example caffeine and nicotine; which are used to increase alertness, concentration, and motivation. These are not, of course, prescription drugs (and they do have significant side effects).
But some of the most aggressively promoted drugs are dumb-drugs in that they impair cognitive functioning in many, most or all of the people who take them.
For example statins, are currently being pushed as necessary for ALL people aged 60 plus - this supposedly 'research' based recommendation was front page headlines in popular newspapers a couple of weeks ago - yet statins are very nasty drugs, causing all kind of aches and pains, and increased suicide risk, as well as damaging cognition.
A close friend of mine forgot and was unable to re-learn his passwords when put onto statins, and could not hold a telephone number in his head long enough to type it - luckily he regained these abilities when he took himself off the drugs. But what of these who take the drugs for years?
Beta-blockers are demotivating for many people - I have experienced this myself. There is a sense of being out of contact with 'reality' - unable to respond emotionally. This is insidious and hard to be sure of - but when the drug is stopped it is like a cloud lifting and 'coming alive' over the next couple of days.
And antipsychotics are really horrible drugs, that should only be regarded as a last resort - which operate (as their core 'neuroleptic' effect) by causing the psychological symptoms of Parkinson's disease: blunting emotions, reducing motivation - inducing a dulled feeling of psychic indifference to life. But antipsychotics are being used more and more, often to teat 'bipolar disorder', including in children; and Ablify - an antipsychotic - is the most profitable drug in the world.
Also, the effects of SSRI-type antidepressants (the fastest growing class of mass prescribed drugs in the world) are, on some people, much like a milder antipsychotic - with exactly the blunting, demotivating pattern of effects; in which the desired 'don't sweat the small stuff' extends and amplifies to being emotionally cold, unloving and insensitive.
Dumb drugs are among the biggest selling, most profitable, most marketed pharmaceutical agents.
So, the modern population is being made dumber with drugs on an epic scale - and this is often very obvious indeed: you only need to ask and listen to the drug takers.
Surely this matters?
Spot on post.
I have an acquaintance properly diagnosed with Altzheimers several years ago. Recently, her doctor took her off the statins (generics used by NHS)that she was put on about the same time as the Altzheimers clocked in - and voila! the Altzheimers has gone away.
We are doing dangerous things to ourselves in the name of"health".
PS - on the cheap generic statins that the NHS prescribe, my husband really suffered. They changed him to the "proper" one and the difference was huge. My husband has the "one size fits all" regime for people who have had heart attacks/TIA's in the UK - it's all scary. In a hundred years, this age will be considered an age of profound error.
Thank you for this post. I was on a statin for a short while. It was doing great things for my cholesterol numbers, but causing considerable large muscle pain, so I discontinued using it. I didn't detect any cognitive problems.
My mother-in-law is on too many drugs, and has been for most of her life. She completely and implicitly trusts the doctors and medical system as well. "They" would never do anything that wasn't the best for her, etc. She doesn't even ask questions like "Why? What for?" etc... I wonder how many people this extends to.
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