In a sunny suburb of Florida, Janie Smith loses her keys. After much wandering about she realizes they’re on the coffee table to the left side of her couch, instead of the one to the right side of her couch. Janie laughs at her silliness. This wouldn’t have happened to a younger version of herself, but Janie is nearly seventy years old. Some cognitive decline is to be expected.
Across the state, in a very pleasant nursing home, Nancy Waters cannot remember her son. He still comes to visit every day, and she loves his company. Sometimes she thinks he might be her husband, but usually she just thinks he is a nice young man who likes to visit and play Scrabble. Nancy may be seventy, but her cognitive abilities are not considered normal. Nancy has dementia.
Of course, for every Janie and Nancy there are number of cases that fall somewhere in the middle. The brain hasn’t declined so far as to warrant a diagnosis of dementia, but its owner is forgetting much more than where they left the keys.
Mild cognitive impairment is a pretty normal occurrence. It isn’t narrowly defined, but most people understand it to mean that a person’s brainpower has decreased more than is expected for their age group. It hasn’t, however, decreased so much that the person has dementia. Nootropics are a solid bet under these conditions – but which is the best choice?
Dr. Neznamov and Dr. Teleshova set out to answer this question. Specifically, they wanted to compare the benefits of using Noopept to the benefits of using Piracetam. Piracetam is jokingly referred to as the grandfather of nootropics. It has been around for many years and has a long history of success helping increase cognitive abilities in the impaired mind. Noopept is the new kid on the block. Though it is also not FDA approved, it is a popular nootropic in Russia.
53 patients were identified. Roughly half were given Piracetam and the other half Noopept. The study found that while both Piracetam and Noopept improved the cognitive abilities of their subjects, Noopept worked better. The drug had fewer side effects and delivered a greater bundle of positive results. Though I’m sure we will need more studies to confirm these findings, having one more weapon to use in the fight against cognitive impairment can only be a good thing.