A meta-analysis has been performed including nineteen double blind, placebo controlled studies with piracetam in patients suffering from dementia or cognitive impairment in the elderly. These studies had as common outcome measure a clinical global impression of change, a measure of clinically meaningful improvement. The meta-analysis of this global outcome followed the methodology set forward by the Cochrane Collaboration. This article describes the studies, the patient populations and the methods of data extraction. The results of the meta-analysis demonstrate a difference between those individuals treated with piracetam and those given placebo, both as significant odds ratio and as a favourable number needed to treat. While there may be problems in meta-analyses and the interpretation of the statistical results, the results of this analysis provide compelling evidence for the global efficacy of piracetam in a diverse group of older subjects with cognitive impairment.
Copyright 2002 S. Karger AG, Basel