Piracetam was first synthesized in 1964 by the psychologist and chemist Corneliu E. Giurgea with the intent to enhance brain function. It was the first drug to be defined as a nootropic compound by Giurgea in 1972, who found that gave him a great boost in cognition and memory1,2. Piracetam actually has a wide range of medical uses in addition to improving learning and memory abilities. Since it’s discovery, Piracetam has been used to treat patients with a wide variety of cognitive deficiencies, including dyslexia, Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, stroke, seizures, and autism. It remains one of the most widely-studied drug of its type.
Nootropic drugs are compounds that can improve concentration and boost mental focus. They are often referred to as smart drugs, memory supplements, brain boosters, or focus pills. The word “nootropic” (literally “noos” means “to mind” and “tropein” means “to monitor”) is broadly defined as any substance which is attributed a positive action on cognition3.
Piracetam is a relatively simple, water-soluble compound, and the most basic racetam, a class of drugs that share a similar structure. Piracetam is available both by prescription and over-the-counter in many countries. Importantly, Piracetam is a safe drug with very few side-effects and extremely low toxicity. Piracetam is neither a sedative or a stimulant, but acts as a regulator of essential neurotransmitters in the brain. It is quickly absorbed by the body and has not been shown to be addictive or habit-forming. The main mechanisms in which Piracetam boosts brain function include restoring the fluidity of cell membranes, protecting neurons, regulating neurotransmitters, and improving neuroplasticity4.
Brain-enhancing drugs maximize the brain’s capacity for memory and strengthens the information flow between neurons. When used as a mental focus supplement, Piracetam provides a boost in brain function and counters the deterioration of memory by both improving neuronal function as well as micro-circulation within body4. By improving the overall brain activity, we see effects including better memory, improved retention of information, increased concentration, and improved ability to focus on tasks.
As we age, we naturally experience a decline in our cognitive abilities. Piracetam can improve the longevity of the brain’s mental functions in healthy elderly adults. In more severe cases of mental impairment, such as Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, Piracetam has been shown to improve cognitive function and memory3.
Today, the use of smart drugs or “study drugs” to boost brain function and memory is relatively wide-spread. Nootropics have become popular study aids with college students who experience enhanced learning and focus when taking them as a supplement. Importantly, Piracetam is a much safer alternative than the (often illegal) use of other stimulant drugs, such as Adderall or Ritalin, prescription drugs used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Many healthy adults seek the long-term benefits nootropic compounds by taking them routinely as a preventative supplement, almost like a vitamin for the brain. Nootropic drugs, including Piracetam, have been shown to be safe and effective, with extremely low toxicity and minimal side effects. Still, as with all medications and supplements, be sure to consult your doctor before starting a Piracetam regimen.
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