Piracetam improves cognitive deficits caused by chronic cerebral hypoperfusion in rats

Cell Mol Neurobiol. 2008 Jun;28(4):613-27. doi: 10.1007/s10571-007-9165-x. Epub 2007 Aug 21.


Piracetam is the derivate of gamma-aminobutyric acid, which improves the cognition,memory,consciousness, and is widely applied in the clinical treatment of brain dysfunction. In the present experiments, we study the effects of piracetam on chronic cerebral hypoperfused rats and observe its influence on amino acids, synaptic plasticity in the Perforant path-CA3 pathway and apoptosis in vivo. Cerebral hypoperfusion for 30 days by occlusion of bilateral common carotid arteries induced marked amnesic effects along with neuron damage, including: (1) spatial learning and memory deficits shown by longer escape latency and shorter time spent in the target quadrant; (2) significant neuronal loss and nuclei condensation in the cortex and hippocampus especially in CA1 region; (3) lower induction rate of long term potentiation, overexpression of BAX and P53 protein, and lower content of excitatory and inhibitory amino acids in hippocampus. Oral administration of piracetam (600 mg/kg, once per day for 30 days) markedly improved the memory impairment, increased the amino acid content in hippocampus, and attenuated neuronal damage. The ability of piracetam to attenuate memory deficits and neuronal damage after hypoperfusion may be beneficial in cerebrovascular type dementia.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cognition Disorders / drug therapy*
  • Cognition Disorders / etiology*
  • Drug Evaluation, Preclinical
  • Electrophysiology
  • Hypoxia-Ischemia, Brain / complications*
  • Male
  • Maze Learning / drug effects
  • Neuroprotective Agents / therapeutic use
  • Piracetam / therapeutic use*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Swimming
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53 / metabolism
  • bcl-2-Associated X Protein / metabolism


  • Neuroprotective Agents
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53
  • bcl-2-Associated X Protein
  • Piracetam