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Aniracetam

Aniracetam is a nootropic compound that belongs to the family of racetam compounds. It’s known as a nootropic compound because it has the ability to enhance a number of cognitive functions including memory, concentration, mental endurance, focus, visual perception, and other thinking skills. Aniracetam supplements can be taken in the form of powder or capsule and are available in many health food stores.

Overall Health Benefits of Aniracetam

  • Improves mood [21-26]
  • Reduces anxiety [21]
  • Improves learning [1-4, 8, 9]
  • Improves memory [1-9]
  • Improves mental energy/alertness/endurance [11-15]
  • Improves motivation and task performance [5-7, 28]
  • Improves cognitive function [9, 10, 14, 18, 19]
  • Improves sleep duration and quality [36-38]
  • Alleviates memory damage and learning impairments caused by trauma [9, 10, 19]
  • Prevents further cognitive decline in patients with cognitive impairment [9, 10, 19]
  • Increases BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor) which promotes the survival of nerve cells in the brain. [20]
  • May protect against the negative effects of chronic cortisol elevation [39]
  • May improve erections, sexual desire and performance [40-43]
  • May help with alcohol addiction [29-35]

Cognitive Health

An overwhelming body of high quality studies supports the therapeutic benefits of aniracetam on the brain. According to these studies, aniracetam exerts its brain-boosting effects through the following important mechanisms:

  • In rats, aniracetam increases the release of the neurotransmitter (brain chemical) acetylcholine, which is critical for various brain functions such as learning and memory. [1-4]
  • In rats, an
  • iracetam also increases the levels of the neurotransmitters dopamine (plays a major role in reward-motivated behavior) and serotonin (affects memory). [5-7]
  • In rats, aniracetam enhances the transmission of electrical signals in the hippocampus, a small region of the brain involved in learning and memory. [8]
  • In elderly patients with mild to moderate cognitive impairment due to senile dementia of the Alzheimer type, aniracetam administration at a dose of 1500 mg/day appears to alleviate memory damage and learning impairments caused by various traumas at 4 and 6 months of treatment. [9]
  • In patients with cognitive impairment, aniracetam prevents further cognitive decline at 6 months of treatment. [10]
  • Aniracetam modulates the activity of the AMPA receptor, which mediates fast transmission of electrical signals in the central nervous system. [11-13]
  • Aniracetam boosts the levels of the neurotransmitter noradrenaline or also known as norepinephrine, which enhances cognitive function during stressful situations. [14]
  • In rats, aniracetam enhances the transmission of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), which is necessary to fine-tune communication between nerve cells (neurons). [15]
  • In rats, aniracetam can potentially reverse neurological changes or alleviate symptoms associated with Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. [16-17]
  • In rats, aniracetam administration at a dose of 50 mg/kg bodyweight appears to alleviate some cognitive deficits in the hippocampus caused by Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS). [18]
  • In rats, oral aniracetam administration at doses of 10-100 mg/kg appears to normalize or improve cognitive impairment. [19]
  • In aged rats and middle-aged mice, aniracetam increases the levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a protein that promotes the survival of nerve cells in the brain. [20]

Mood

Studies show that aniracetam may help improve overall mood through its potent antidepressant and anti-anxiety effects.

  • In mice, aniracetam appears to exert potent anti-anxiety properties, which may be mediated by an interaction between cholinergic, dopaminergic and serotonergic systems. [21]
  • In rats, aniracetam acts more effectively at alleviating depression in subjects with brain dysfunction caused by aging.[22]
  • In rats, aniracetam exerts its antidepressant effect by modulating the activity of the AMPA receptor. [23-24]
  • In rats, aniracetam reduces submissive behavior, which is indicative of antidepressant activity.[25]
  • In animals, aniracetam administration reduces depressive symptoms related to mental disorders. [26]

Energy Levels

  • Aniracetam may help boost energy levels through its beneficial effects on energy metabolism. Rat studies have shown that aniracetam prevents the disturbance of brain energy metabolism such as a decrease in adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which serves as the main source of energy of cells. [27]
  • In one study, researchers found that repeated aniracetam administration in rats resulted in significant improvements in a series of tests assessing motivation and task performance. [28]

Alcohol Addiction

  • There is increasing evidence that aniracetam may help fight alcohol addiction. Rat studies demonstrated that aniracetam targets specific brain regions involved in alcohol-seeking behavior, thereby reducing alcohol urge. [29-31]
  • In addition to this, the dopamine-boosting effect of aniracetam may also play a role in reducing alcohol addiction since dopamine deficiency is associated with strong alcohol urge. [32-35]

Sleep Quality

  • With its brain-boosting effects, aniracetam may also be beneficial in improving sleep pattern and quality. The following studies support the benefits of aniracetam in various sleeping difficulties:
    In patients with insomnia, aniracetam supplementation induces a hypnotic effect and is associated with longer sleep duration and deep sleep. [36]
  • In patients with insomnia related to cerebrovascular and noncerebrovascular disorders, aniracetam administration is associated with more than 50% prolongation of sleeping time. [37]
  • In stroke-prone spontaneously hypertensive rats with impaired sleeping patterns, oral doses of aniracetam at 30 mg/kg per day increased rapid eye movement (REM), one of the deepest phases of sleep.

[38]

Stress

  • Chronic stress causes prolonged elevation of the stress hormone known as cortisol. This effect negatively affects the body and can lead to suppressed immunity, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, insulin resistance, obesity, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, reduced libido, bone loss, and other life-threatening conditions. Interestingly, rat studies show that aniracetam helps protect against the debilitating effects of chronic cortisol elevation by modulating GABA receptors. [39]

Sexual Health

  • Numerous studies show that one of the major causes of sexual dysfunction in men and women is dopamine deficiency, and that restoration of this neurotransmitter to normal levels leads to significant improvements in erections, sexual desire and performance. [40-43]
  • Since aniracetam has the capacity to increase the levels of dopamine in the brain, administration of this powerful nootropic compound will not only produce positive effects on cognition, but also on sexual function.

References:

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  2. Zhao X, Kuryatov A, Lindstrom JM, Yeh JZ, Narahashi T. Nootropic drug modulation of neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in rat cortical neurons. Molecular pharmacology. 2001; 59(4):674-83.
  3. K. Nakamura, M. Shirane, Activation of the reticulothalamic cholinergic pathway by the major metabolites of aniracetam, Eur. J. systems participating in nicotine-specific effects, Neurochem. Int. 33Pharmacol. 380 (1999) 81–89.
  4. M.G. Giovannini, P. Rodino, D. Mutolo, G. Pepeu, Oxiracetam and aniracetam increase acetylcholine release from the rat hippocampus in vivo, Drug Dev. Res. 28 (1993) 503–509.
  5. Shirane M, Nakamura K. Aniracetam enhances cortical dopamine and serotonin release via cholinergic and glutamatergic mechanisms in SHRSP. Brain research. 2001; 916(1-2):211-21.
  6. Petkov VD, Grahovska T, Petkov VV, Konstantinova E, Stancheva S. Changes in the brain biogenic monoamines of rats, induced by piracetam and aniracetam. Acta physiologica et pharmacologica Bulgarica. 1984; 10(4):6-15.
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  8. Pugliese AM, Corradetti R, Ballerini L, Pepeu G. Effect of the nootropic drug oxiracetam on field potentials of rat hippocampal slices. British journal of pharmacology. 1990; 99(1):189-93.
  9. Lee CR, Benfield P. Aniracetam. An overview of its pharmacodynamic and pharmacokinetic properties, and a review of its therapeutic potential in senile cognitive disorders. Drugs & aging. 1994; 4(3):257-73.
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  14. Pittaluga A, Bonfanti A, Arvigo D, Raiteri M. Aniracetam, 1-BCP and cyclothiazide differentially modulate the function of NMDA and AMPA receptors mediating enhancement of noradrenaline release in rat hippocampal slices. Naunyn-Schmiedeberg’s archives of pharmacology. 1999; 359(4):272-9.
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  22. Nakamura K, Tanaka Y. Antidepressant-like effects of aniracetam in aged rats and its mode of action. Psychopharmacology. 2001; 158(2):205-12.
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  37. Katsunuma H, Shimizu T, Ogawa K, Kubo H, Ishida H, Yoshihama A. Treatment of insomnia by concomitant therapy with Zopiclone and Aniracetam in patients with cerebral infarction, cerebroatrophy, Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. Psychiatry and clinical neurosciences. 1998; 52(2):198-200.
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