Piracetam is a cerebral function regulating supplement proven to enhance cognition as it attenuates brain aging. A cyclic derivative of GABA, Piracetam is commonly prescribed in Europe for a variety of conditions (see below). It is considered by the scientific community to be one of the most toxicologically safe supplements ever developed. So much so, it is used to prevent or reverse the toxic action of a broad array of chemicals and conditions. Though not a direct anti-depressant, piracetam is considered a excellent adjunct to most anti-depressant protocols.
Mechanisms of action
The mechanisms of action of Piracetam are quite broad. Piracetam is understood to work by stimulating the cerebral cortex as well as by increasing the rate of metabolism and the energy levels of neurons. It possibly facilitates movement of information between the brain's two hemispheres via the corpus callosum, and improves the function of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine via muscarinic cholinergic (ACh) receptors which are implicated in memory processes. Furthermore, Piracetam may have an effect on NMDA glutamate receptors which are involved with learning and memory processes. Finally, Piracetam may exert its global effect on brain neurotransmission via modulation of ion channels (ie. Ca2+, K+).
Piracetam was first synthesized in 1964 by scientists at the Belgian pharmaceutical company UCB led by Dr Corneliu E. Giurgea. The drug was the first of the so-called nootropics ("smart drugs" or "cognitive enhancers"), that is, substances which purportedly enhance mental performance. The term nootropic was coined by Giurgea. Nootropil was launched clinically by UCB in the early 1970s and remains an important product of that company in Europe.
Piracetam is usually supplied in 800 mg tablets or capsules. The recommended dosage varies based on the indication, usually ranging from 1.6-9.6 grams daily (2-12 pills daily). Some people report faster results when taking 1-2 pills every hour for 4-6 hours or taking 4-8 pills at once for the first few days to notice an effect.
It has been studied up to 45 grams daily without major side effects.