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FOUNDING Member / Verified Sponsor
Jul 21, 2002
A few interesting studies concerning Piracetam, many of which are very
well organized. Contrary to popular opinion, Piracetam is recognized
in the mainstream medical community (mostly outside the United States)
as a drug with positive mental effects, especially in dyslexia.
Interaction between psychological and pharmacological treatment in
cognitive impairment

Deberdt W.

UCB Pharma,
Chemin du Foriest, Braine-l'Alleud, Belgium.
Life Sci 1994;55(25-26):2057-2066

In contrast to other kinds of psychotropic drugs, nootropics or
cognition enhancing drugs may be indicated, not for the direct
treatment of the pathology itself, but for improving or restoring the
remaining brain functions. Brain functions are normally trained during
various kinds of non-medical therapy, such as physiotherapy, speech
therapy, occupational therapy, memory training etc. In research little
attention has been paid to the combination of both kinds of
therapeutic approaches, probably because of the important
methodological difficulties. This combination however, offers various
interesting perspectives: L. ISRAEL examined in two placebo-controlled
studies the effects of either 160 mg/d of ginkgo biloba extractum
(GBE) or piracetam 2.4 or 4.8 g/d, combined with a memory training
program, in nondemented patients complaining of memory problems. The
results of both studies suggest that nootropic drug treatment and
memory training have each an effect on different cognitive functions
and, hence, are complementary. Some functions, like
attention/perception in the GBE study and learning in the piracetam
study, seem to benefit from both treatments, suggesting a mutually
potentiating effect of drug treatment and training. This potentiation
is very clear in the treatment of dyslexic children: in a
placebo-controlled study piracetam 3.3 g/d, in combination with normal
school teaching and more specific logopedic therapy, allowed a normal
progression during the full school year in reading accuracy and
reading comprehension, while the placebo treated children getting a
similar training progressed only with 50%. Recently promising results
were obtained in the treatment of dysphasic patients with a
combination of speech therapy and piracetam 4.8 g/d, especially when
given during the first months after the stroke, or otherwise in
combination with an intensive speech training. In both double-blind
studies the piracetam treated group improved about 60% more than the
group who only got speech therapy and placebo. All these data may be
explained by the restorative or enhancing influence of nootropic drugs
on neurotransmitter systems closely related to learning and memory
functions. E.g. piracetam restores the availability and function of
muscarinic and NMDA receptors in aging animals, most probably through
a modulation of the psychico-chemical properties of the neuronal
membrane such as the membrane fluidity.
Piracetam and dyslexia: effects on reading tests.

Wilsher CR, Bennett D, Chase CH, Conners CK, DiIanni M,
Feagans L, Hanvik LJ, Helfgott E, Koplewicz H, Overby P, et al.

J Clin Psychopharmacol 1987 Aug;7(4):230-7

Previous research has suggested that dyslexics treated with piracetam
have shown improvements in reading skills, verbal memory and verbal
conceptualizing ability, feature analysis, and processing of
letter-like stimuli. Two hundred twenty-five dyslexic children
between the ages of 7 years 6 months and 12 years 11 months whose
reading skills were significantly below their intellectual capacity
were enrolled in a multicenter, 36-week, double-blind,
placebo-controlled study. Children of below average intelligence,
with abnormal findings on audiologic, ophthalmologic, neurologic,
psychiatric, and physical examinations, who were emotionally disturbed
or educationally deprived and who had recently been treated with
psychoactive medication were excluded from the trial. Piracetam was
well tolerated, with no serious adverse clinical or laboratory effects
reported. Piracetam-treated children showed significant improvements
in reading ability (Gray Oral Reading Test) and reading comprehension
(Gilmore Oral Reading Test). Treatment effects were evident after 12
weeks and were sustained for the total period (36 weeks).
Evaluation of the efficacy of piracetam in treating information
processing, reading and writing disorders in dyslexic children.

Tallal P, Chase C, Russell G, Schmitt RL.

Int J Psychophysiol 1986 May;4(1):41-52

Piracetam, a new class of drug thought to enhance specific cognitive
skills, was given in a 3300 mg daily dose to half of a group of
fifty-five dyslexic boys aged 8-13 years, in a 12-week, double-blind,
placebo-controlled study. The other half of the subjects received
placebo. All subjects met the following criteria: normal intelligence,
normal educational opportunities, no severe emotional problems, no
neurological handicaps, good physical health, not taking other
psychotropic medication, and scoring at least one and one half years
below their mental age equivalent on the Gilmore Oral Reading Test.
Non-verbal (auditory and visual) and verbal perceptual, and memory
skills were examined, and reading, spelling, language and writing
abilities were measured using standardized instruments. Compared to
the placebo control group, individuals treated with piracetam did not
show statistically significant improvements above their baseline
scores on measures of perception, memory, language, reading accuracy
or comprehension, or writing accuracy. However, reading speed and
numbers of words written in a timed period were significantly enhanced
in subjects treated with piracetam as compared to placebo. Effective
reading and writing ability, taking both rate and accuracy into
consideration, were also significantly improved in the piracetam as
compared to the placebo treatment group. The medication was
well-tolerated and medical examinations showed no significant adverse
reactions. These results encourage further study of piracetam to
determine more precisely the mechanism of action by which specific
cognitive skills are affected.
Piracetam-induced improvement of mental performance.

Mindus P, Cronholm B, Levander SE, Schalling D.

Acta Psychiatr Scand 1976 Aug;54(2):150-60

A double-blind, intra-individual cross-over comparison of the mental
performance of 18 aging, non-deteriorated individuals during two
4-week periods of piracetam and placebo administration was performed
using conventional and computerized perceptual-motor tasks. In a
majority of these tasks the subjects did significantly better when on
piracetam than on placebo, a finding consistent with ratings completed
by two independent observers. The findings indicate new avenues for
the treatment of individuals with reduced mental performance possibly
related to disturbed alertness--a neglected group of psychiatric
Randomized placebo-controlled double-blind cross-over study on
antihypoxidotic effects of piracetam using psychophysiological
measures in healthy volunteers.

Schaffler K, Klausnitzer W.

Institute for Pharmacodynamic Research,
Munich, Fed. Rep. of Germany.
Arzneimittelforschung 1988 Feb;38(2):288-91

The effects of two acute doses (1600 mg, 2400 mg) of
2-oxo-pyrrolidine-1-acetamide (piracetam, Normabrain) on hypoxia
resistance were screened vs placebo in a randomized, double-blind
3-way change-over design in 9 healthy male volunteers (mean age: 26.4
+/- 3.5 years; mean body weight: 74.9 +/- 8.4 kg). Psychophysiological
measurements were done with the oculodynamic test (ODT) for
oculomotor, performatory and additional cardiorespiratory parameters.
Intradiurnal assessments were done under normoxia (prevalue) and
hypoxic hypoxidosis (1 hypoxic prevalue, 3 postdose values: 1.0, 2.5
and 4.0 h) with a content of 10.5% O2 and 89.5% N2 in inspired air
(hypoxic hypoxidosis)--as a model of brain dysfunctions, related with
several types of senile dementia (Primary Degenerative Dementia =
Alzheimer type; Multi Infarct Dementia). The results indicate that
piracetam especially in its higher dose (2400 mg) displays
antihypoxidotic effects already after a single administration in
oculomotor, performatory and cardiorespiratory parameters.

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