The Effects of Piracetam Upon Visual Event‐Related Potentials in Dyslexic Children

C. K. Conners, M. Reader, A. Reiss, J. Caldwell, L. Caldwell, A. Adesman, L. Maver, M. Berg, R. Clymer, R. Erwin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Twenty‐nine dyslexic children (mean age 10 yrs) were randomly assigned to piracetam (3.3 gr/d) or matching placebo in a 36‐week double‐Mind study. Event‐related potentials (ERPs) were obtained at the end of treatment from a vigilance paradigm which required a response to letter‐matches or form‐matches. The drug group showed a significant advantage in letter‐bits compared with placebo, and a reduced variance in reaction time. The drug increased the amplitude of three factors from a principal components analysis of ERPs, and was interpreted as increasing a processing negativity when stimuli were letters. Effects upon the prestimulus baseline for letter‐hits were interpreted as faster termination of a CNV under drug for letter‐pairs. Latency of early N100 components were faster under drug, suggesting improved feature analysis. It is concluded that piracetam enhances feature analysis and increases attentional resources among dyslexics when the stimuli are recognized as having linguistic significance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)513-521
Number of pages9
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1987
Externally publishedYes


  • Children
  • Dyslexia
  • ERP
  • Evoked potentials
  • Nootropics
  • Piracetam

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Neurology
  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Biological Psychiatry


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