The term nootropic was invented when scientists were searching for a drug to produce sleep and avert motion sickness. By experimenting with GABA in the body they fell upon a compound called piracetam. This did not relax a person. Instead, it stimulated an individual’s cognition.
Racetams are part of this class of drugs. They all act in a manner that helps to facilitate cognitive function. There is some speculation that some of them can help prevent or slow dementia. They have been shown to energize the thought process and improve concentration, memory, and creativity.
There are four basic racetams. These include piracetam, oxiracetam, aniracetam, and pramiracetam.
Piracetam helps increase oxygen and blood flow to improve cell membranes, metabolism, and mental clarity. This racetam has been shown to help stop cognitive decline in aging. It has also been shown to stop aggression and improve memory recall. This racetam works especially well with short-term memory issues.
This racetam is also good at preventing what is known as a Breath Holding Spells or BHS. This affects children between zero and five years old.
This can be a severe disorder and piracetam has been capable of treating bad cases of it. It also improves blood flow and oxygen to the brain which is useful in those who have suffered ischemic strokes.
Aniracetam goes into the gastrointestinal tract quickly on an empty stomach. It gets absorbed into the system without any food or fat as some racetams may need. It is one of the more short-lived racetams. Most, like aniracetam, will only last from two to four hours.
This racetam is metabolized in the liver once it has been absorbed. Its main benefit is improving a person’s mood. It helps relieve anxiety and depression and has been recently chosen over some medications because it works immediately rather than over a period of weeks.
Oxiracetam is the racetam that is used by students and bodybuilders. It offers more energy to the body because it helps enhance the release of excitatory neurotransmitters in the brain.
People who take this nootropic find that it is better for conditions like ADHD than traditional medication because it does not have any of the side effects these medications do.
Pramiracetam is almost the same as piracetam, but it binds to the brain chemistry in a different way. This helps increase cerebral blood flow and it has been effective at improving spatial learning as well as long-term memory.