AKA: Cerebroforte, Dinagen,
Gabacet, Nootropil, Normabrain.
Its chemical structure is very close to the amino acid pyroglutamate, a substance found in meat, vegetables, fruits, and dairy products.
Effects: Protects the brain against – and helps it recover from – hypoxia; protects against metabolic stress related to low oxygen flow to the brain resulting from intense athletic performance, high altitude conditions, and smoking; steps up the rate of metabolism and level of energy in the brain cells by increasing the production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) and improving the blood flow within the brain; improves memory, alertness, and some kinds of learning in normal humans (probably by helping the brain synthesize new proteins); prevents memory loss caused by physical injury and chemical poisoning; and facilitates the flow of information between the two hemispheres of the brain, an important component of creativity, insight, and peak performance. May contribute to the growth of more cholinergic receptors in the brain. It has been used in the treatment of dyslexia,
stroke, alcoholism, vertigo, senile dementia, and sickle-cell anemia, among other conditions.
Works synergistically with centrophenoxine, choline, Deaner, DMAE, gingko biloba, Hydergine, or lecithin; for improving memory, the combination of Piracetam and choline is particularly effective.
Precautions: Though piracetam is derived from pyrrolidone, a substance that is believed to enhance the nervous system’s ability to utilize acetylcholine as a neurotransmitter, the exact mechanism by which it works is still not fully understood. There is some evidence that it increases the number of receptors in the brain, but it also seems to increase blood flow to the brain. Still other theories suggest that it improves protein synthesis in the brain, improves the function of nerve fibers in the corpus callosum (thereby assisting the flow of information between the two halves of the brain), or that it reduces free radicals.
It is avoided by those with severe kidney failure and those taking anticoagulant drugs.
In rare cases, it may cause gastrointestinal distress, diarrhea, headaches, insomnia, nausea, and psychomotor agitation. It may result in acetylcholine’ s being used up more rapidly in the body, so a choline supplement may be needed.
It may also increase the effects of such drugs as amphetamines, psychotropics, and Hydergine. It is not believed to be toxic or addictive, and has no contraindications.
Dosage: 800 to 1600 mg/day after an initial daily dose of 1200 to 2400 mg/ day taken in the morning for the first two days. Others recommend 2400 to 4800 mg/day in three divided doses, while still others a more modest dose of 500 to 600 mg/day for a healthy person and 1000 to 2000 mg/day for an elderly person with mild to moderate memory impairment.