2018, Number 2
Medicentro 2018; 22 (2)
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ABSTRACTIntroduction: there is a wide variety of interventions to improve cognitive functions (cognitive enhancers), some of them more conventional and other unconventional such as drugs, implants, direct brain-computer interfaces and genetic engineering; however, to date, most of the considerable advances in cognitive performance have been achieved through non-medical means.
Objective: to describe the main cognitive enhancers and the current ethical approaches.
Methods: review and discussion of the medical literature about cognitive enhancers, clinical trials and ethical aspects of scientific peer- reviewed journals published in the last ten years in databases such as Pubmed, EBSCO and Scielo.
Conclusions: the ethical issues involved in their approach are dependent of the expected benefit against the risks, because there are no studies that describe long-term side effects of their use in healthy subjects. Autonomy to decide whether or not to use them, principles of equity and justice with the possibility of an unequal distribution of them and concerns regarding of loss of authenticity constitute other important aspects. The creation of future randomized controlled studies and ethical guidelines is necessary in order to make possible the use of cognitive enhancers.