Aniracetam’s method of action is similar to the other racetams. It has been shown to specifically stimulate the AMPA receptor site. The AMPA receptor is the most common glutamate activated receptor associated with Central Nervous System and its functions. AMPA receptors play a role in learning and memory formation. Aniracetam seems to have higher affinity with the AMPA receptors than other racetamic compounds.
Another interesting action of Aniracetam is the observed anxiety reducing effects. It completes this action without causing sedation and the anxiolytic benefit of the substance has been extensively studiedbin animal models. This anxiolytic response is believed to be caused in part, by activation of the D2 and D3 Dopamine receptors. Nicotinic ACh receptor activation is also believed to contribute to anxiolytic effects and nootropic effects. Additionally, Aniracetam seems to enact on the 5-HTP(2a) receptor which helps to process Serotonin and may further advance anxiolytic/anti-depressant functions.
Clinical Efficacy of Aniracetam, Either as Monotherapy or Combined with Cholinesterase Inhibitors, in Patients withCognitive Impairment: A Comparative Open Study*
Chrysi C. Koliaki, Chaido Messini & Magda Tsolaki
Introduction: Dementia constitutes an increasingly prevalent cognitive disorder with serious socioeconomic implications.
Aims: In the present study, we aimed to evaluate the efficacy of aniracetam, either as monotherapy or combined with cholinesterase inhibitors (ChEIs), in terms of several neuropsychological parameters, in a considerable number of patients with dementia.
Results: In our prospective, open-label study, we enrolled a total of 276 patients (mean age 71 ± 8 years, 95 males) with cognitive disorders. Our study population comprised four groups: no treatment group (n = 75), aniracetam monotherapy group (n = 58), ChEIs monotherapy group (n = 68), and group of combined treatment (n = 68). Patients were examined with validated neuropsychological tests at baseline, 3, 6, and 12 months of treatment. In patients treated with aniracetam, all studied parameters were adequately maintained at 6 and 12 months, while emotional state was significantly improved at 3 months. In patients treated with ChEIs, we observed a significant cognitive deterioration at 12 months.
The comparison between aniracetam and ChEIs in patients with relatively mild dementia (15 . MMSE . 25) revealed a significantly better cognitive performance with aniracetam at 6 months and improved functionality at 3 months. Comparing aniracetam monotherapy with combined treatment in the same population, aniracetam performed better in the cognitive scale at 6 months, and displayed a notable tendency for enhanced mood at 12 months and improved functionality at 6 months.
Conclusions: Our findings indicate that aniracetam (a nootropic compound with glutamatergic activity and neuroprotective potential) is a promising option for patients with cognitive deficit of mild severity. It preserved all neuropsychological parameters for at least 12 months, and seemed to exert a favorable effect on emotional stability of demented patients.
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