Piracetam and dyslexia: Effects on reading tests

Colin R. Wilsher, David Bennett, Christopher H. Chase, C. Keith Conners, Mark DiIanni, Lynne Feagans, Leo J. Hanvik, Elayne Helfgott, Harold Koplewicz, Philip Overby, Mark J. Reader, Rita G. Rudel, Paula Tallal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Previous research has suggested that dyslexics treated with piracetam have shown improvements in reading skills, verbal memory and verbal conceptualizing ability, feature analysis, and processing of letter-like stimuli. Two hundred twenty-five dyslexic children between the ages of 7 years 6 months and 12 years 11 months whose reading skills were significantly below their intellectual capacity were enrolled in a multicenter, 36-week, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Children of below average intelligence, with abnormal findings on audiologic, ophthalmologic, neurologic, psychiatric, and physical examinations, who were emotionally disturbed or educationally deprived and who had recently been treated with psychoactive medication were excluded from the trial. Piracetam was well tolerated, with no serious adverse clinical or laboratory effects reported. Piracetam-treated children showed significant improvements in reading ability (Gray Oral Reading Test) and reading comprehension (Gilmore Oral Reading Test). Treatment effects were evident after 12 weeks and were sustained for the total period (36 weeks).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)230-237
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of clinical psychopharmacology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1987
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)

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