The “nootropic” approach to the pharmacology of the integrative activity of the brain 1, 2

Abstract

The integrative activity of the brain is particularly related to the telencephalic level of CNS. Drugs affecting learning and memory usually interfere with the reticular or limbic system, and are either stimulants or sedatives. In contrast, Piracetam (U C B 6215) is an atoxic compound which, up to dosages such as g/kg, does not interfere with autonomic functions, general behavior, level of wakefulness, the limbic system, etc. Yet, in dosages such as mg/kg it improves several learning and memory abilities, protects against experimental amnesic agents, facilitates EEG recovery after severe hypoxia and also facilitates interhemispheric transfer (transcallosal evoked potential and learned behavior). Discussion is made on the basis of the particular neuropharmacology as well as on the available biochemical and human clinical correlations to emphasize the selectivity of this compound on telencephalic integrative mechanisms. Piracetam is presented as the first-comer of a new psychotropic class for which the termnootropic is proposed.

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Correspondence to C. Giurgea.

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Partially supported by the IRSIA Research Grant No. 1801.

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Giurgea, C. The “nootropic” approach to the pharmacology of the integrative activity of the brain 1, 2. Conditional Reflex 8, 108–115 (1973). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF03000311

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Keywords

  • Piracetam
  • Integrative Activity
  • Cortical Spreading Depression
  • Severe Hypoxia
  • Retrograde Amnesia