Piracetam treatment in patients with cognitive impairment

Gen Hosp Psychiatry. 2013 Jul-Aug;35(4):451.e5-6. doi: 10.1016/j.genhosppsych.2012.05.009. Epub 2012 Jul 2.


Piracetam is a cognitive-enhancing agent that is used for the treatment of cognitive impairments of various etiologies. Little is known about its side effect profile, especially in those with psychiatric illness. We herewith present two cases with cognitive impairment who had contrasting responses to piracetam. One of them with organic amnestic syndrome had significant improvement, whereas the other who had an organic personality change as well as a family history of mental illness had significant worsening of behavioral problems after piracetam was introduced. This report highlights the need for caution in the use of piracetam, especially in those with past or family history of psychiatric illness.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Brain Injuries / complications
  • Cognition Disorders / drug therapy*
  • Cognition Disorders / etiology
  • Encephalitis, Viral / complications
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Nootropic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Piracetam / therapeutic use*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult


  • Nootropic Agents
  • Piracetam