Cognitive enhancing drugs are becoming popular nowadays as there have been an increasing number of individuals who seek methods that will improve brain functionality. One of the most common drug supplements used for enhancing memory capacity includes nootropic agents. Amongst these nootropics, pramiracetam is considered to be the most potent and strongest .
Pramiracetam is a derivative of piracetam. It is known amongst recreational users as ten to thirty times more powerful and more active than its parent compound. It was discovered by Parke Davis during the late 1970s. Reports state that it was initially used on Belgium in 1978. On 1979, it was developed and marketed in the US; however, it was immediately discontinued.
This particular nootropic agent helps in increasing the ability of the brain to manufacture acetylcholine. As such, individuals seeking memory enhancers and study aids have decided on taking it as a part of their regular diet as it cannot be derived naturally from foods. Currently, it is sold at an expensive price particularly in the US as its availability is scarce and partly because it is not yet approved by the US FDA .
Pramiracetam is fat soluble unlike aniracetam, oxiracetam and piracetam. It is easily absorbed by the gastrointestinal tract which is the reason why it is more potent than any other racetam. Structurally, it is similar to piracetam; however, the amide group of its parent molecule is replaced with dipropan-2-ylaminoethyl group .
[msgbox]Chemical Name/ IUPAC: Diisoprop-yl-(2-oxopyrrolidin-1-yl)acetamide
Chemical formula: C14H27N3O2
Usage: Nootropic agent, cognitive enhancer[/msgbox]
Mechanism of action
Truthfully, there is not much information about pramiracetam’s mechanism of action. Most early and recent researches argue that it does not affect, alter nor exhibit any affinity to dopamine, serotonin, adrenergic, GABAergic, adenosine, muscarinic and benzodiazepine receptors. Thus, experts agree that it does not directly influence the different receptors and neurotransmission systems of the brain.
Although this is the case, it was observed that pramiracetam initiated a major increase in choline uptake into the hippocampus. This mechanism was thought to be very specific as there were no other effects observed on the corpus striatum as well as on the cerebral cortex. These events appear to point that pramiracetam is speeding up the turnover of acetylcholine on the hippocampus whilst leading to increase cholinergic neuronal impulse movements .
Acetylcholine has numerous effects, one of which is neuromodulation. It helps in increasing attention and arousal as well as augments sensory perception which explains the memory and overall cognitive enhancing effects of pramiracetam. Indeed, pramiracetam is so unlike other racetams as it appears to be ineffective on influencing anxiety and other mood problems for it has limited effects on the aforementioned mood receptors and it has a very specific mechanism. In spite of this, it is still considered to be very efficient and very powerful amongst other nootropic agents particularly on exerting its nootropic functions.
Although pramiracetam is considered to be unique amongst its kind, it demonstrates similar racetam effects. It is generally tolerated by the human body with minimal side effects. Additionally, effects are seen half to an hour immediately after administration since it reaches its peak plasma concentration on the next three to four hours. As such, it is often used off-label in a wide array of medical applications. Human trials were carried out by many researchers to show its beneficial effects on various medical problems.
Pramiracetam is purportedly effective in reversing amnesia. To study this particular benefit, a group of researchers enlisted the participation of 24 healthy males assigned randomly on placebo and pramiracetam. Half of the participants received placebos while the other half received pramiracetam for 10 consecutive days. On the 11th day, both pramiracetam and placebo group received a dose of scopolamine to induce amnesia. Scopalamine considerably compromised the selective attention and episodic memory of the participants. Nevertheless, incidental learning as well as visuo- motor measures remains unaffected by scopolamine. Results showed that pramiracetam was able to reduce the amnesic effects of scopolamine better than the placebo both on old and young subjects .
Cognitive and memory improvement
In another study, males who have brain injuries which lead to cognitive and memory problems were given pramiracetam sulfate. Results of the study showed that use of this nootropic agent can help in improving delayed recall and memory amongst these participants. This improvement on subject performance was also maintained after an 18 month trial period and continued even after pramiracetam supplementation was discontinued .
In a Russian study, the effects of pramiracetam on memory deterioration and subsequent memory decline from stroke and chronic cerebral blood deficiency was evaluated. Data obtained from the study indicated that pramiracetam has been able to significantly improve the symptoms presented . Efficacy of this nootropic agent was further established in another study on patients with concussion. This particular study claims that pramiracetam is more effective on enhancing memory loss and disorientation amongst patients who sustained mild craniocerbral traumas .
Considering the benefits of pramiracetam as established from the abovementioned human trials, it shows that it is particularly inclined on improving memory amongst old and young individuals as well as on those individuals who have sustained mild to moderate head traumas resulting to memory and cognitive problems. Conclusively, pramiracetam has potential positive effects as an excellent study aid and drug supplement enhancer.