If you’ve come to this page, chances are you already know about Piracetam. Publicized as the world’s first ever smart synthetic smart drug, Piracetam is one of the most highly researched, clinically studied nootropics ever created.
But just how effective is Piracetam? If you’re like most people you may question the claim of “world’s best brain booster.” It’s a bold statement but it comes backed with massive amounts of clinical trials and extensive claims.
To say piracetam has been clinically researched in significant detail would be an understatement. With over 1500 pieces of published research performed on over 200 clinical trials, piracetam is arguably one of the most researched supplements of the last several decades.
As a form of alternative medicine used by numerous people all over the world, people have seen improvements in various mental and physical aspects of their lives. We only just begun to scratch the surface of this drug’s potential.
But just how effective is piracetam? Let’s take a closer look at the world’s first synthetic smart drug that has been used around the world for over 50 years.
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What is Piracetam?
Piracetam was first created by a Romanian psychologist and chemist named Dr. Corneliu E. Giurgea in 1964. Commonly hailed as “the godfather of brain pharmacology and cognitive performance research science,” Dr. Giurgea is credited as the creator of nootropics.
Nootropics are drugs or supplements designed to improve cognitive function, memory, creativity, and motivation. When first creating the drug, Dr. Giurgea set out with a single goal - synthesize a compound to improve memory and enhance the ability to learn.
Credited with the creation of the term “nootropic,” meaning mind enhancer, Dr. Giurgea set out to create a new way to improve cognition and memory. What he ended up creating was a drug that did that and so much more.
According to an abstract of a study performed in 2005, Piracetam is a derivative of the neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid or GABA. The main function of piracetam is the restoration of cell membrane permeability. Just what does this mean you ask?
Piracetam increases brain functionality in various ways. Piracetam increases blood flow and oxygen uptake enhancing the communication channels in the brain. With its use, the left and right sides of the brain can communicate more quickly and efficiently. The result is heightened brain functionality energizing the mind to work at optimum peak capacity.
Through various mechanisms, piracetam allows the brain to fire on all cylinders.
What is Piracetam Used For & It's Benefits?
Piracetam has a wide range of benefits ranging from treatments of diseases to improvement of learning capabilities. It’s range of positive side effects make it useful for people from all walks of life.
Some of the most common uses for Piracetam include:
- Cognitive enhancement
- Memory improvement
- Treatment of depression
- Prevention of neurodegenerative decline
Piracetam is most widely used for the purpose of cognitive enhancement. Evidence has shown piracetam to be a brain enhancer as it improves memory, concentration, and motor skills.
Although piracetam can effectively be used to improve cognition in all ages, older populations are most likely to see the potential benefits. Improved blood flow and enhanced neurological function help to increase overall brain function.
Piracetam also acts as an energy booster improving focus and enhancing creativity. For people with learning disabilities such as dyslexia, it can also improve learning capabilities.
Piracetam improves blood flow to and from the brain leading to better memory function. Improved blood flow enhances cellular membrane activity.
In a 1981 study performed on aging rats, piracetam combined with choline showed improved memory capabilities. A 1976 study showed that after fourteen days of use, subjects using piracetam also showed significantly increased verbal learning skills.
Treatment of Depression
Aside from cognitive function, piracetam can also act as an effective form of alternative depression treatment as cited in a 2010 study. For patients seeking a different form of therapy beyond traditional prescription drugs, it may be worth looking into.
A 1976 study showed drug-resistant patients diagnosed with schizophrenia showed significant improvement after being on piracetam for a short period of time.
Prevention of Neurological Decline
Another benefit of piracetam is the protection against cognitive decline in aging subjects. In 2000, research performed on stroke patients showed that piracetam improves recovery of language function and the ability to perform certain tasks.
In a 2000 study on patients with epilepsy, piracetam was shown to be an effective add-on treatment lessening symptoms of the disease.
How Does Piracetam Work in the Brain?
Although hundreds of clinical studies have been performed on piracetam, its exact mechanisms are still not fully understood.
Piracetam is widely believed to improve brain function and cognitive abilities through increased blood flow activation and enhanced neurotransmission. Let’s take a closer look at the different ways piracetam works within the brain.
Heightened Brain Circulation
Piracetam is widely known for enhancing memory, increasing focus, improving brain function, and increasing cognitive abilities. All cognitive brain functionality is dependent on cerebral circulation. A 1987 Russian study showed that brain functionality is maximized when blood flow kicks into high gear at a cerebral level due to enhanced oxygen and nutrients.
Piracetam is also believed to improve brain metabolism allowing the brain to use oxygen and nutrients at optimal efficiency. As we age, mitochondrial dysfunction causes cognitive impairment. A 2016 study on Piracetam cites an improved mitochondrial function as a method of preventing cognitive decline in aging patients.
Enhanced Neurotransmitter Function
Piracetam increases neurotransmitter functions within the brain as a means of boosting cognitive activity.
Acetylcholine is a neurotransmitter believed to be responsible for cognitive functions such as learning, focus, and memory. In a 1988 study performed on rodents, piracetam was found to increase the number of acetylcholine receptors in the brain. This may explain why memory functionality enhancement is a byproduct of piracetam.
Although cognition is improved with piracetam, the brain can become depleted of choline with regular use. Since choline is considered an essential element of neurotransmitter function, consider choline supplementation if you choose to take piracetam.
Another neurotransmitter involved in the majority of synaptic connections is glutamate. Glutamate is responsible for how strong or weak synaptic connections are. A 1991 Chinese study shows piracetam increases glutamate receptor sensitivity thereby enhancing memory and cognitive performance.
Transference Between Brain Hemispheres
Piracetam acts as a vehicle for information transference between different hemispheres of the brain. In other words, it sends communicative signals to different parts of the brain. By doing such it enhances motor skills and coordination.
The ability to speed up transmissions between various parts of the brain makes it a popular remedy to help treat in the recovery of stroke patients.
Through improved neurotransmitter activity, increased brain blood flow, and enhanced communicative signal responses, piracetam is able to improve various aspects of cognition and other abilities.
How Much Piracetam Should I Take?
According to examine.com, the recommended dosage of piracetam will depend upon age and bodyweight. The standard dosage for children is recommended to be between 40mg - 100mg per kg of body weight.
For adults, a standard recommended dosage is between 1,200mg - 4,800mg per day. The largest effective dose is 1,600mg three times per day to maximize the effect.
Some people report better results splitting the dosage into hourly increments while others take the entire dosage at once.
What are the Side Effects of Piracetam?
Piracetam can provide positive benefits through enhanced cognitive function, better memory, an increased mental capacity. But like most drugs, certain side effects can occur. By understanding the negative side effects associated with piracetam, you will be able to protect yourself from potential harm.
The common side effects of piracetam most frequently noted are:
- Weight gain
- Muscle spasms
Additionally, piracetam may negatively interact with other certain drugs. Piracetam is not known to have any serious interactions with other drugs, but mild to moderate interactions may occur in drugs such as:
This list is not considered conclusive and may not contain all possible interactions or adverse side effects. Be sure to consult with your doctor or pharmacist before trying any new drugs or supplementation as this is not considered official medical advice.
How Long Does Piracetam Last?
People taking supplements to enhance memory and improve brain function will usually see performance peak around one and a half hours after taking it. Due to the plasma bioavailability of the drug, almost all of it goes into the bloodstream unchanged.
The best cognitive abilities are generally seen after one and a half hours. If you are aiming to experience the increased mental abilities and general focus at a certain time, be sure to time your dosage correctly.
Typically, the half-life of piracetam is about five hours and most of the drug will be out of your bloodstream by this point in time. Benefits of the drug are generally limited to this five-hour timeframe, so many people choose to take a dosage every four to six hours to ensure optimal mental capacity.
The central nervous system takes about eight hours to remove piracetam, but the drug does not leave the body completely until after about 30 hours.
Alternatives to Piracetam
If you are looking for an alternative to piracetam for improving brain health and functionality, there are other natural choices you can try. Fish Oil, a good source of Omega-3 fatty acids provides some of the same benefits as Piracetam.
Fish oil may enhance cognitive function, improve memory, and prevent depression.
Is Piracetam Legal?
Piracetam is not approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), therefore it is not allowed to be labeled as a dietary supplement. However, it is completely legal to purchase in the United States.
Due to the nature of FDA laws on sales and distribution, many vendors choose not to sell Piracetam in the United States. Most people purchasing the product in America import it from other countries that have less regulated sales.
The legal status of piracetam in other countries will vary. In Canada, piracetam is not regulated and therefore cannot be sold in the country. However, possession is legal allowing people to import the product from other countries. In the United Kingdom and Australia, piracetam is only available with a prescription.
The legality of piracetam in other countries may vary, so be sure to check your nation’s laws and regulations.
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Is Piracetam the Right Choice for You?
With its ability to boost brain power, enhance cognition, and prevent age-related mental decline, piracetam may be the right supplement to take you to the next level.
In conjunction with other remedies, piracetam can even help treat epilepsy and aid in the recovery of stroke victims. The potential uses for piracetam seem endless as several studies have cited the positive benefits associated with its use.
If you think piracetam may help you perform better in the office, at home, or on the go be sure to give it a try. You too can perform at peak efficiency. The choice is up to you.
Ryan Rodal is an avid health and wellness enthusiast. He enjoys staying active in a variety of hobbies including weight lifting, boxing, cycling, and hiking. With over 500 publications to top named websites and supplement companies, he brings a wealth of experience on topics including health, wellness, workout routines, and supplementation. When he’s not working out, he enjoys spending time with friends and his dog. He believes health and wellness isn’t just a mindset, it’s a lifestyle choice.