Aniracetam

Background

Aniracetam, also known as N-anisoyl-2-pyrrolidinone and some other brand names as Draganon, Sarpul, Ampamet, Memodrin, Referan, is a nootropic supplement belonging to the racetam family and a popular choice among nootropic users for its ability to enhance cognition while reducing anxiety and boosting mood. Aniracetam was developed as a more powerful analog of the nootropic drug Piracetam and is said to be 3-6 times more effective than Piracetam and has greater oral bio-availability, in part because of the fact that it is fat soluble. Aniracetam has also been used to relieve of cognitive disturbances, and mood and motor performance in patients with stroke and Alzheimer’s disease.[1]

Benefits

Aniracetam is considered to be one of the most popular nootropics for its well-documented positive mood and anti-anxiety properties, combined with powerful cognitive enhancements. Preliminary evidence of the potential health benefits and good tolerability profile of aniracetam support continued evaluation of its use in patients with mild to moderate senile dementia of the Alzheimer’s type. However, it has immense health benefits which have made this supplement different from others. The most common health benefits of aniracetam include –

  • Improves cognitive performance [5]
  • Enhances memory and concentration [6]
  • Enhances learning capacity [7]
  • Improves verbal fluidity [8]
  • Reduces anxiety, stress, depression [9]
  • Promotes mood [10]
  • Promotes motivation [11]
  • Promotes sleep and wakefulness [12]
  • Helps people who have ADHD, autism, negative symptoms of schizophrenia [13]
  • People report aniracetam increases mental endurance, focus, memorization, and visual perception
  • People also report it increases creativity

Aniracetam may help relieve of various types of mental function impairment or cerebral dysfunction in animal models of CNS disorders. As mentioned, its comparability with Piracetam has made Aniracetam “a more potent sister chemical of Piracetam with similar though stronger beneficial effects on memory and without significant side effects”. Aniracetam also helps in protecting the brain from the negative outcomes of lack of oxygen. In addition, this drug is also used for improving the psychological state of patients who have cerebrovascular disease.[2][3]

How it works

Aniracetam is a pyrrolidinone compound of the racetam family. It acts as a positive modulator of some excitatory receptors known as AMPA receptors and decreases the rate of receptor desensitization. This typically manifests as a controlled and prolonged neurological stimulation effect. Since AMPA receptors differ in structure across the brain, different AMPA modulators affect the brain in different ways. Anecdotally, Aniracetam has been known to aid in ‘collective and holistic thinking’, or putting the pieces of the puzzle together. It also increases blood flow and activity in the area of the brain known for this action, the association cortex.[4]
Aniracetam is also known for its crossing the blood-brain barrier and affecting several key brain chemicals called neurotransmitters. It binds to acetylcholine receptors, causing this neurotransmitter to remain active in the brain for an extended period of time. And the action is thought to be primarily responsible for the majority of its cognitive benefits since this neurotransmitter is a vital player in many cognitive processes (especially memory, learning and focus). In fact, Aniracetam exhibits a neuroprotective effect and may hinder oxidative damage in brain cells. It is thought to affect a number of different messenger chemicals in the brain, including dopamine, GABA and serotonin.

Considerations

Like many other nootropics, Aniracetam produces very few documented side effects, which are both minor and temporary. The most frequently reported side effects of aniracetam are headaches and mild nausea which can often be successfully addressed by the addition of a choline source.

Also high doses of Aniracetam may result in a feeling of excessive nervousness, digestive discomfort, or both. If it happens, try reducing dosage.

Recommendations

Aniracetam is usually used in a dosage of between 750 mg to 1500 mg per day, split into 1-3 doses. It is generally combined with a choline source in a ratio of 4:1 or 5:1.
Though individual requirements vary, a dosage of 750-1500 mg is normally accepted as both safe and effective, while doses of up to 3000 mg daily have been documented as well-tolerated. However, it is wise to start with the minimum effective dose and gradually increase as necessary. Consult your doctor before increasing dosage.

Sources