Piracetam, also called nootropil, is the most commonly taken nootropic. It helps boost intelligence without being toxic or addictive. Piracetam is very similar in chemical structure to the amino acid pyroglutamate, present in meat, vegetables, fruits, and dairy products. Piracetam stimulates the cerebral cortex and increases the rate of metabolism and energy level of brain cells. It does not have the side effects associated with other stimulants. The primary clinical use is to protect the brain from damage caused by hypoxia, which is oxygen starvation, and to help recover from it. Brain cells can be starved for oxygen by drinking too much alcohol, for example. Another clinical use is stemming memory loss caused by physical injury and chemical poisoning.

Piracetam seems to help step up the flow of messages between the two hemispheres or halves of the brain, which is sometimes called the interhemispheric flow of information. Dean and Morgenthaler speculate that the increased communication between right and left brains is associated with flashes of creativity. They believe that piracetam may actually have a regenerative effect on the nervous system. Piracetam may improve learning by increasing the brain’s ability to synthesize new proteins. The specific chain of events is complicated and beyond the scope of this book, but the upshot of the research is that piracetam is a powerful nootropic that seems to contribute to improved memory and learning through several different types of chemical changes that it triggers in the brain.

Research shows significant improvements in memory and mental performance. Piracetam has a synergistic effect, such as helping the individual remember things better, when taken with DMAE, centrophenoxine, choline, Deaner, lecithin, or hydergine. Reports show it works three to four times better when acetylcholine-enhancing nutrients or drugs are used. Studies suggest that when taken in combination, Piracetam and choline are much more effective both in improving memory and in preventing the mental decline that comes with aging than when either substance is used by itself.

The research indicates that either by itself or with choline, piracetam is one of the most effective nootropic drugs in its impact on memory and learning. Piracetam is most easily obtained over the counter in Mexico and in various European countries. Up until recently it could be obtained through the mail from an off-shore pharmacy.

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