Coluracetam – What it is

Wikipedia says that Coluracetam (INN) (code name BCI-540; formerly MKC-231) is a nootropic agent of the racetam family.[1] It was initially developed and tested by the Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Corporation for Alzheimer’s disease. After the drug failed to reach exxpectations in its clinical trials it was in-licensed by BrainCells Inc for investigations into major depressive disorder (MDD), which was preceded by being awarded a “Qualifying Therapeutic Discovery Program Grant” by the state of California.[2] Findings from phase IIa clinical trials have suggested that it would be a potential medication for comorbid MDD with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD).[3] BrainCells Inc is currently out-licensing the drug for this purpose.[4]  It may also have potential use in prevention and treatment of ischemic retinopathy and retinal and optic nerve injury. Coluracetam has been shown to reverse the loss of choline acetyltransferase production in the medial septal nucleus of rats exposed to phencyclidine (PCP), and is considered a potential therapeutic drug for schizophrenia.[5]


Coluracetam – What it Means

Coluracetam is a nootropic in the racetam family. Like most racetams, it works by increasing Choline uptake into neurons, but unlike other racetams, it seems to do so even if they are already impaired or damaged. It was touted as the first high-affinity choline uptake enhancer even though other racetams share this action. It was put through trials to treat Alzheimer’s disease but failed to reach clinical expectations in the treatment. What was found during the trials though was that it looked to improve depression symptoms and anxiety! Subsequent studies have shown that it may induce long-lasting cognitive improvements in the choline system. Overall, there is currently insufficient evidence to support the usage of coluracetam for cognitive enhancement. Further studies are needed to see if it has a therapeutic role in instances where HACU (high-affinity choline uptake) may be impaired (such as Alzheimer’s disease).


Coluracetam – What it “Does”

Some evidence suggests that Coluracetam might be particularly effective in the areas of the brain involved in visual processing. It gets its name from the fact that it has a noticeable effect on improving eyesight, making colors and shapes more vivid and that it holds the possibility of preventing and treating retinal and optic nerve injury. While there have been no negative side effects associated with taking as much as 80mg three times daily, other studies have found no appreciable benefit in taking more than 20 mg per day. Higher doses were typically associated with studies on depression and anxiety but these symptoms are already being successfully treated with other racetams. Gnutropics offers coluracetam in 20mg capsules and incorporates it into several Gnu products including Gnu Age and Gnu Confidence.


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