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Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2001 Apr;155(4):442-8.

Piracetam therapy does not enhance cognitive functioning in children with down syndrome.

Author information

1
Imaging Research and Cognitive Neurology Unit, Sunnybrook and Women's College Health Sciences Centre, 2075 Bayview Ave, Room S604, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M4N 3M5. nlobaugh@sten.sunnybrook.utoronto.ca

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Piracetam is widely used as a purported means of improving cognitive function in children with Down syndrome. Its efficacy, however, has not been rigorously assessed.

OBJECTIVE:

To determine whether 4 months of piracetam therapy (80-100 mg/kg per day) enhances cognitive function in children with Down syndrome.

DESIGN:

A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled crossover study.

PARTICIPANTS AND METHODS:

Twenty-five children with Down syndrome (aged 6.5-13 years) and their caregivers participated. After undergoing a baseline cognitive assessment, children were randomly assigned to 1 of 2 treatment groups: piracetam-placebo or placebo-piracetam.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE:

The difference in performance while taking piracetam vs while taking placebo on tests assessing a wide range of cognitive functions, including attention, learning, and memory.

RESULTS:

Eighteen children completed the study, 4 withdrew, and 3 were excluded at baseline. Piracetam therapy did not significantly improve cognitive performance over placebo use but was associated with central nervous system stimulatory effects in 7 children: aggressiveness (n = 4), agitation or irritability (n = 2), sexual arousal (n = 2), poor sleep (n = 1), and decreased appetite (n = 1).

CONCLUSION:

Piracetam therapy did not enhance cognition or behavior but was associated with adverse effects.

Comment in

PMID:
11296070
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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