Pramiracetam: A Great Study and Intelligence Nootropic
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First developed in the 1970’s, Pramiracetam is among the more advanced nootropics from the racetam class that provides benefits to several areas of cognitive performance, most notably intelligence. While using Pramiracetam will not instantly make you a genius, it has been shown to improve memory, learning capacity, reasoning skills, energy and concentration levels, helping to accelerate progress on your way to becoming more intelligent. This has made it a favourite of students the world over who are looking to gain that mental edge in academia. If you think Pramiracetam could be the right supplement for you, there are a few things you should know about this supplement before trying it. This article covers many of these subject including how it works, what benefits it can offer, potential side effects and usage guidelines.
How Does Pramiracetam Work?
Although the specific mechanisms by which racetams and nootropics work are not yet fully understood, there are several generally accepted theories. Upon ingestion, Pramiracetam is absorbed by intestines, after which it is transported by lipids in the bloodstream. When the supplement builds to maximum concentration levels, which takes around half an hour, it is transported across the blood brain barrier that separates the bloodstream from the brain. Upon reaching the brain, Pramiracetam is thought to act on receptors that correspond to the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. Acetylcholine and its associated pathways are linked to many functions, most notably the formation of memories and synaptic plasticity.
Pramiracetam is thought to increase high-affinity choline uptake (HACU). This process is the main factor that limits the rate at which acetylcholine is produced from its precursor, choline. By altering this process with the use of nootropics like Pramiracetam, we can effectively remove such limitations on the rate of acetylcholine production, resulting in higher levels of acetylcholine in the brain. This mechanism explains why some users experience headaches when using racetams on their own; acetylcholine production is increased which creates a greater demand for choline meaning most users will require an additional source of dietary choline to meet this higher production rate.
Pramiracetam’s effect in increasing the rate of HACU appears to be most prominent in the hippocampus region of the brain. This is significant as the hippocampus is associated with forming long-term memories. By increasing acetylcholine levels in the hippocampus, users will benefit from more efficient consolidation of information from short to long-term memory.
Pramiracetam also appears to work as a vasoldilator that helps to increase cerebral blood flow in the brain. Larger volumes of blood bring with it more oxygen and glucose, two substances that are required by cells to produce adenosine triphosphate (ATP). ATP is a type of energy molecule that is used by all cells in the body, and neurons that are tasked with a high work load require a lot of ATP to function at an optimal level. Furthermore, increasing blood flow not only helps to deliver more nutrients to the brain, but can also help to more efficiently transport toxins and waste products away from the brain. This can help to prevent the build-up of substances like lipofuscin that could potentially lead to cognitive decline and serious neurological conditions.
There is also some evidence for alternative, but perhaps not mutually exclusive mechanisms that involve the peripheral nervous system. One study using an animal model observed significant improvements to memory function in rats that were administered Pramiracetam. However, no differences in memory performance were seen in rats that had their adrenal glands removed suggesting that adrenal glands and the hormones they produce may play a significant role in the cognitive enhancements seen with this supplement. Another hypothesis implicates that Pramiracetam is able to improve membrane fluidity in aged brains, a factor that can help to facilitate cell signalling.
What are the Benefits of Pramiracetam?
While effects may differ between individuals, the most notable benefit Pramiracetam offers its users is improvements to learning capacity and memory performance. While some will notice subtle improvements, being able to recall easily overlooked details, others may find they gain an almost photographic-like memory. This applies not only to the formation of memory, but also memory recall with many users finding they can retrieve information with greater speed and efficiency.
Due to the fact that memory, learning and synaptic plasticity are improved, it is likely that users will also notice an improvement to fluid intelligence. Fluid intelligence refers to our ability to temporarily hold and manipulate information and is used in tasks that involve problem solving, pattern recognition or logical thinking. As this supplement increases the amount of information we can remember at any one time, as well as the efficiency with which we manipulate such information, we are more likely to come up with successful solutions to tasks or problems that challenges these cognitive abilities.
As mentioned earlier, Pramiracetam is able to increase both the uptake of oxygen and metabolism of glucose through increasing cerebral blood-flow. As well as ensuring the survival and function of neurons, these factors can also contribute to greater levels of alertness and mental energy, helping the user to think with a greater degree of clarity. Subsequently, users are also likely to benefit from a longer attention span, higher levels of concentration and an overall increase in the speed of thought and cognitive processes.
These benefits make Pramiracetam an excellent supplement for use as a study aid. Improvements to memory and learning capacity ensure students can more efficiently remember and recall dates, names, facts and figures which will no doubt be useful both studying for, and during an exam. Enhancements to fluid intelligence also mean that students are able to better understand, apply and link concepts while Pramiracetam’s alertness and concentration boosting properties can help to maintain focus in lengthy and mentally fatiguing lectures.
Due to the potency of this nootropic relatively small amounts are required to achieve a good range of cognitive benefits. The typical dosage range for Pramiracetam is anywhere between 300 to 1,500mg a day. This should be administered in two to three equally sized parts to be taken throughout the day as Pramiracetam has a half-life span of around 5 hours.
It is important to note that there is a certain degree of flexibility when concerning nootropic dosage levels and a dosage outside of the ranges given here may be more suitable for your requirements. The most suitable dosage level can differ dramatically between individuals owing to differences in body weight, biochemistry and sensitivity to such supplements, and your tolerance to Pramiracetam may increase following extended periods of use. Generally speaking it is not advisable to use attack and mega dosage strategies (using 3 to 4 times the recommended dosage to intensify effects or decrease the load period) for this supplement as benefits may be diminished, or the chance of side effects increased. As with any nootropic or supplement, you are advised to consult your doctor beforehand to ensure Pramiracetam is right for you.
Potential Side Effects
Like most nootropics, Pramiracetam has an excellent tolerability and safety profile with no severe side effects, drug interactions or toxicity. However, there are a few side effects that users should be aware of, although these are quite rare, mild in nature, and similar to other supplements in the racetam family. The most common side effect seen with Pramiracetam use is headaches, and this can be easily remedied by adding a good quality choline source like Citicholine or Centrophenoxine to your stack. Other side effects can rarely occur such as anxiety, nervousness, fatigue and gastrointestinal distress although in most cases, these are the result of excessive dosages. If any of these symptoms occur you are advised to reduce your dosage level or discontinue using the product.