Racetams are synthetic Nootropics used to enhance cognitive abilities. It was initially developed to treat motion sickness, however, it surprisingly proved successful in enhancing mental performance, information processing, and memory consolidation. The four most common type of Racetams is Piracetam, Aniracetam, Oxiracetam, and Pramiracetam. Some are stimulatory, some give a soothing feeling, some enhance concentration, and some are suited for creative thought. Therefore, each Racetam has similar, yet distinct benefits. It is important to note each person’s biochemistry is different, hence not all of the effects will be the same.
Benefits of Racetams
One of Racetam benefits is that it may improve the communication between the two hemispheres of the brain. By increasing the amount of communication between the corpus callosum, there will be a higher level of idea formation, a higher degree of thinking and enhanced memory temporarily. Other benefits include enhance alertness, IQ in elderly patients, reading speed and accuracy, writing, spelling, and overall mental performance.
Another benefit of Racetam is that it improves the Cyclic Adenosine Monophosphate (cAMP) levels and Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP) turnover. This results in the body and brain working more efficient with the greater amount of energy levels. It also influences the cerebral neurons and enhances the protein synthesis in the brain and brain metabolism through stimulation of oxidative catabolism. However, compared to Natural Nootropics, specifically Gingko Biloba, Racetam barely act on the hippocampal portion of the brain which is involved in long-term memory potentiation and release of dopamine and acetylcholine.
Types of Racetams
Piracetam is the first researched Racetam created by Corneliu E. Giurgea, a Romanian chemist, and psychologist. It works by stimulating the acetylcholine receptor system which causes neurotransmitter to be released into the brain. As a result, it improves the long-term brain health, as well as short term enhanced cognition. Studies show Piracetam improves mental cognition when supplemented by people in a state of cognitive decline. It enhances the cellular membrane fluidity which explains why Piracetam enhances cognition, specifically in the elderly. Other benefits Piracetam offer are an increase in neuroplasticity, energy, and motivation, enhance concentration, sensory perception, awareness, and memory retention. It is low in toxicity level on humans and the recommended dosage for Piracetam is between 800mg to 2500mg, taken 1 to 2 times per day. Although Piracetam is not the strongest or best option for increasing mental performance, it is still widely used today.
Aniracetam – more potent than Piracetam – have anxiolytic effects, meaning it has anti-anxiety properties. This enhances the user’s mood and confidence, however, the effect only last for a short amount of time, typically no more than 4 to 5 hours. Aniracetam also reduces cognitive impairment with cerebrovascular insufficiency, reduces scopolamine induce amnesia in young healthy humans, increases the release of dopamine and serotonin through cholinergic mechanisms in the prefrontal cortex, and enhance memory and learning. It works by stimulating the AMPA receptors and decreasing the rate of receptor desensitization. Since AMPA receptors are different in terms of structure in the brain, different AMPA modulators impact the brain in different ways. This can greatly improve perceptions of sounds and colours, increase focus and concentration levels, and increase the blood flow to the brain. The recommended dosage for Aniracetam is 750mg, taken 1 to 3 time per day. Due to it being a fat soluble, the body takes a longer time to break it down, meaning the effects will take some time to feel but are felt for a longer period of time.
Oxiracetam is one of the few Racetams that provides a stimulatory effect, meaning it will give the user a boost in energy. Compared to Piracetam and Aniracetam, the effects are much stronger and faster. It is often characterized as a logic booster with a vast amount of reports stating it enhances memory and learning ability for a short time. Additionally, Oxiracetam prevents scopolamine-induced amnesia in humans, clinically used to prevent cognitive decline in dementia, enhance the release of excitatory neurotransmitters, and modulate cholinergic transmission. It works by stimulating the AMPA receptors which evoke the increase in acetylcholine, D-Aspartic acid, and glutamate levels. This ultimately increases the metabolic activity in neuron cells and memory formation. The recommended dosage for Oxiracetam is 750mg, taken 1 to 2 times per day. Due to Oxiracetam having properties of a stimulant, it is advised not to take during the night as the effects can last for up to 8 hours.
Pramiracetam is known for its ability to make the user focus and increase long-term memory. Compared to Piracetam, Aniracetam, and Oxiracetam, Pramiracetam effects last longer than them all. It is often stacked with other Nootropic ingredients as it aids in the synergistic effects. Some benefits include memory enhancement in people with cerebral injury, increase in mental energy levels and concentration, and improve neuroplasticity making it easier to learn. It works by binding the acetylcholine receptors and modulating them to augment the effectiveness and efficiency of acetylcholine transmission, which is vital in the formation of new memories. With greater amounts of acetylcholine in the brain, this increases the stimulation of the cholinergic system and can increase the memory capacity of the brain. As the synaptic plasticity and computational power of the cerebrum increases, there is an improvement in problem-solving and information processing. The recommended dosage for Pramiracetam is between 300 to 500mg, taken 1 to 2 times per day.
Overall, Racetams can greatly enhance the user’s memory, processing speed, concentration, and energy. However, it is because many of the Racetams are fat soluble it is important to consume it with a fat source such as milk to absorb it well. If it is not properly supplemented the results will not be effective and side effects may occur.
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