Date of Award


Degree Type

Selective Evidence-Based Medicine Review

Degree Name

Master of Science in Health Sciences - Physician Assistant


Physician Assistant Studies

Department Chair

John Cavenagh, MBA, PhD, PA-C


OBJECTIVE: The objective of this selective evidence based medicine (EBM) review is to determine whether or not the addition of piracetam safely and effectively improve behavioral and or cognitive functions in schizophrenia.

STUDY DESIGN: The selected review from all English language, primary literature sources that were published between 1979 and 1999.

DATA SOURCES: Three double blind randomized controlled trials (RCT) and one case controlled clinical study that compared piracetam to a visually matched placebo was selected and found using Medline, PubMed, Ebscohost, and Cochrane databases.

OUTCOMES MEASURED: Each of the trials assessed the effect of Piracetam on behavioral and or clinical functions of Schizophrenia patients by utilizing the following assessment tools: Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale (BPRS), The Behavior Rating Scale, The Wing Symptom Rating, and Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS).

RESULTS: The trials demonstrated that the mean change before treatment with the use of piracetam as opposed to the visually matched placebo, as compared to after the treatment was large, with all statistically significant P values ≤ 0.05. This demonstrated that there was improvement in behavioral and cognitive functions achieved with the treatment of piracetam versus placebo.

CONCLUSION: Based on the studies, all reported that with the use of piracetam in schizophrenia, there showed improvement of some type of behavioral and or cognitive functions above baseline. Although the pattern of outcome was similar in all the studies, there requires a continued and more updated investigation to be aimed at determining a specific dose of piracetam therapy, a specific patient population for which piracetam is most effective and to further elaborate its safety profile outside a controlled research setting.