The racetams are understood to work by activating glutamate receptors that are colocalized with cholinergic receptors, thus increasing the firing of the latter. The racetams consequently increase memory capacity by nearly the same method as the acetylcholinesterase inhibitors.
- Piracetam - The first of the racetams to be discovered (in the mid-1960s); water-soluble racetam
- Aniracetam - Fat-soluble racetam (4 to 8 times more potent than Piracetam)
- Oxiracetam - Water-soluble racetam (? more potent than Piracetam)
- Pramiracetam - Fat-soluble racetam (8 to 30 times more potent than Piracetam)
- Phenylpiracetam (Carphedon) - Fat-soluble racetam
- Rolipram - anti-inflammatory, antipsychotic and antidepressant drug that improves long term memory, increases wakefulness and neuroprotection (in rats).