piracetam induced EEG changes in Alzheimer’s

The significance of quantified EEG in Alzheimer’s disease. Changes induced by piracetam

Pierlovisi-Lavaivre M, Michel B, Sebban C, Tesolin B, Chave B,
Sambuc R, Melac M, Gastaut JL, Poitrenaud J, Millet Y.

Laboratoire d’explorations fonctionnelles du systeme nerveux,
CHU Timone, Marseille, France.
Neurophysiol Clin 1991 Dec;21(5-6):411-23


One study was performed in 12 patients with pre-senile Alzheimer’s disease (group I), the other one in 16 patients with mild senile dementia of Alzheimer type (group II). In each study, patients were divided into two randomized parallel groups, one receiving placebo, the other piracetam (9 g daily in group I piracetam and 2.4 g daily in group II piracetam) during three months, piracetam induced a decrease in EEG power on the 2-6 Hz range (group I piracetam), 3-5 Hz and 7 Hz (group II piracetam) and an increase of EEG power in the 9-11 Hz range (group I piracetam) and in the 10 Hz and 13 Hz frequencies (group II piracetam). There was also a significant improvement in the Trail Making Test part A in group II piracetam. Correlations between decreased EEG low frequency components and improvement in some psychometric tests were found significant in the two groups. It seems that the main effect of piracetam was to induce increased alertness. The same results were found in both studies; the good reproducibility suggests that EEG spectral analysis is a reliable tool in the assessment of psychotropic drug effects.