Piracetam is a Nootropic compound discovered in the late 1970’s by a Romanian Psychologist investigating compounds capable of providing CNS relaxing effects. It contains a central Pyrrolidone molecule which is characteristic of all Racetam compounds. It’s used as a Nootropic to boost cognitive performance, has shown promise in helping treat acute brain damage, and can even help with blood clotting!
Piracetam is a derivative of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) that is thought to help restore neural cell fluidity. It modulates acetylcholinergic and glutamatergic receptors, improves neuroplasticity, improves memory and learning, and can even help treat seizures (R). Piracetam doesn’t have a well-established standardized dosage range but most clinical data falls within the 50-100mg/kg of body weight range. There are few side effects associated with Piracetam and users commonly report feelings of mood improvement and mild mental stimulation. Below is some discussion on the benefits of piracetam with links to relevant research.
Clinical data on Piracetam suggests that this Nootropic compound may offer some tremendous benefit in those suffering from neurodegenerative conditions such as dementia, as well as those suffering from brain injury. It’s shown remarkable ability in helping to treat strokes, can help boost memory and intelligence, and might even help gid rid of vertigo. Below you’ll find a brief discussion of some of the more noteworthy benefits of piracetam.
Piracetam has been shown to be as effective as aspirin in the prevention of secondary strokes, also making it a candidate for usage in post-cardiac events. While not significantly better than aspirin, researchers found that Piracetam was tolerated much better over a long period of time (R). This suggests it might be valuable as stroke preventative compound offering fewer side effects than current recommendations.
Breath-holding is a little-understood peculiarity of early childhood for some children. In response to anger or frustration, some children will hold their breath until they become pale (pallid) or even turn blue and pass out (cyanotic) (R). These don’t result in any lasting damage but they can be scary as hell for parents. In one study, researchers found that dosages of 50-100mg/kg bodyweight completely eliminated breath-holding episodes in 80% of children and significantly lowered incident rates for rest (R).
Vertigo is a very subjective disorder that can be characterized as having a false sense of movement. Its origins in the brain are unknown and therefore difficult to diagnose and treat. Conventional therapies involve symptomatic treatment to help stabilize a patients sense or orientation in space. In one study of 143 elderly patients with reported chronic vertigo, Piracetam was able to produce a significant reduction in reported episodes (R). In this case, piracetam was administered in 2.4g/day doses for 8 weeks of study. There have also bee several other studies that demonstrate piracetam as an effective treatment for vertigo (R).
Muscle Spasms/Twitches (Myoclonus)
Myoclonus can be characterized as muscle jerking, spasms, or twitching in response to many different factors such as swelling, injury, hypoxia, or even infection. Healthy individuals experience these types of muscle spasms occasionally but, at least for some, they can become a problem that affects talking, motor skills, and normal healthy functioning. Cortical Myoclonus is a type of muscle spasms that are thought to originate from the cortical region of the brain. One such example would be the often-violent jerking associated with seizures. Piracetam has shown the ability to help treat such conditions when other treatment options fail (R).
In one study, 2.4-gram doses and 4.8-gram doses of piracetam were given to elderly subjects suffering from psychiatric issues associated with mild cognitive impairment. In both test groups (2.4g & 4.8g) patients saw a significant improvement in memory, IQ, sociability, and alertness (R). This study was limited but serves well to help illustrate how useful Piracetam continues to be in the treatment of cognitive performance.
Piracetam is typically taken in doses ranging from 1mg to 4.5 mg in some clinical trials, and most anecdotal accounts describe ranges of 3.5 grams per day as being an effective dose. In some studies, doses as high as 24 grams per day without any notable adverse effects (R). Just to be clear, that means nothing like heart attack, stroke, or hemorrhaging. Taking 24 grams of piracetam would likely give you a very unpleasant experience. As with many Racetams, conjunctive use with compounds such as Alpha GPC, CDP Choline, or Choline supplements can help reduce side effects of prolonged cholinergic stimulation (such as headaches, dizziness, nausea, and trouble concentrating.)
Piracetam is considered to be very safe for general use, although mild side effects can be noticed at higher doses. While doses of 4 grams and more are generally regarded as safe, Piracetam has LD50 of 5.6 mg/kg of body weight in rats, and 20 grams/kilogram of body weight in mice (R-PDF). LD50 a term used to describe dosage that produces death in 50% of a test population. In other words, if you give 10 mice, each weighing 1 kilogram, 20 grams of Piracetam, 5 of them will die. a 150-pound adult would have to take 1360 grams of Piracetam to near this level
Common side effects reported by piracetam users include headaches, irritability, nervousness, and insomnia. These are typically mild in nature and quickly dissipate as the dose wears off. There are also reports of depression-like symptoms upon cessation of Piracetam. This is likely a product of cholinergic normalization, considering the integral role that acetylcholine receptors are thought to play in mental health (R).
Piracetam vs Aniracetam
Compared to Aniracetam, Piracetam tends to offer a much more subtle effect and better suited for long-term use and neuroprotective applications. Piracetam has been shown to offer very stable results in lower and moderate doses up to 2 grams and may provide neuroprotective benefits over the course of its use. Aniracetam is regarded as being more stimulating and is anecdotally reported as being better suited for short bursts of cognitive enhancement such as cramming for tests, solving complex problems, or improving environmental engagement such as in athletics. Aniracetam is a fat-soluble Nootropic, which is generally regarded as being more effective in crossing the blood-brain barrier. The benefits of fat-soluble compounds are known to be seen much more quickly than comparable water-soluble compounds. For this reason, again, many regard Aniracetam as the best choice for short term usage, when quickly experiencing the effects is considered favorable.
Piracetam vs Oxiracetam
Compared to Oxiracetam, Piracetam is quite similar but regarded as generally offering much more subtle effects. Piracetam is often preferred by those looking for benefits to their overall outlook on life, and mood-enhancing actions. Oxiracetam has been known to be best-suited for use in more mentally-geared circumstances such as high-yield decision making, and strategy development. Piracetam has been noted by anecdotal evidence to increase sociability and offer more psychoactive benefits. Piracetam tends to be effective only at larger doses than Oxiracetam as well, with many users describing doses of 4 grams and higher.
Piracetam was discovered in the late 1970’s while experimenting with GABA derivatives. It’s shown great promise in treating seizures, strokes, and helps improve cognitive tasks such as memory and learning. It’s not approved by the FDA as a dietary ingredient or as a compound for the treatment of any disease or medical condition. Nonetheless, this compound has shown great promise over the years and we believe it to be one of the best nootropics on the market today. It’s often sold in powder form, though it can be quite difficult to find.
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