Piracetam was the first drug to be termed as a nootropic – and also gave birth to the word itself! But there is more to this family than just Piracetam! In this article we are going to explain what are racetams, a brief history of racetams, and the differences between all 8 of them!
Yes, you heard that right… there are actually several different types of racetams that you can add to your nootropic stacks! So, let’s dig in!
The series of events that lead to the discovery of the first-ever Racetam; Piracetam, was no less than a coincidence!
It would interest you to know that the founder of Piracetam, Corneliu E. Giurgea, had no intention of developing a cognitive booster!
Instead, he was working at the Belgian pharmaceutical company ‘UCB’, to derive a solution for motion sickness!
This happened in the year 1964, the age when man first entered into the portal of nootropics.
Little did Cornileu realize that the racetam family would become a popular supplement for heightening brain function!
Today, racetams are widely used by brain hackers and nootropics enthusiasts looking for that extra “edge” cognitively, and the rest is history.
What Are Racetams?
I often hear people ask the question, “What are racetams?”, and I can see why because there is a lot of misinformation out there.
Racetams belong to a group of drugs (or smart drugs) that work in the brain to enhance cognitive abilities.
Several other members of this family of nootropics promote superior brain functioning in their own unique way – which will be discussed separately below.
What’s common amongst all the racetams is that they share the pyrrolidine nucleus.
What Is The Mechanism Of Action Of Racetams?
According to Wikipedia, the mechanism of action of racetams is subject to controversy – since there isn’t a ‘single’ or universally accepted mechanism recognized to date.
However, they demonstrate an affinity for the central nervous system receptors and play a role in fluctuating the levels of neurotransmitters such as Acetylcholine and Glutamate.
Acetylcholine is the brain’s primary neurotransmitter and plays a vital role in memory formation.
This is why Piracetam, along with other racetams, is sold as a prescription drug for the treatment of Dementia, ADHD, and other memory-disabling disorders.
Racetams may also improve the cerebral blood circulation for the efficient replenishment of nutrients – this leads to a better performing brain.
Which Racetam Is The Best?
For you to find that out, it is best if we introduce you to the entire racetam family first!
This nootropic needs no introduction!
Piracetam is perhaps the most researched and studied nootropic amongst the racetam family and has been in use for the past 50 years!
Piracetam not only aids the memory but also works to improve concentration and performance.
For this reason, it is a popular choice for old aged individuals that demonstrate signs of debilitated memory and cognition.
It can also boost creativity!
Its benefits are not only limited to the older population – young and healthy individuals can also enjoy the memory-boosting effects of this smart drug.
Piracetam also demonstrates mood-elevating properties and may be of use to stressed and anxious individuals.
Its neuroprotective and anticonvulsant properties are also subject to research.
Side effects of piracetam include:
- Irritability or agitation
- Weight gain
*Piracetam is generally well tolerated and usually presents mild side effects
This one here is a modified version of the former, with an additional phenyl group in its structure.
This additional phenyl group increases its dissolving properties in water and fats – thus rendering it with faster and efficient absorptive properties.
This also means that it gains superiority over its parent-drug Piracetam!
It can cross the blood-barrier faster than Piracetam.
It was created in 1983 for Russian Cosmonauts to help them perform better and keep their stress levels at bay!
It has demonstrated cognitive improvement in many central nervous system disorders as well.
Along with the ability of this smart drug to promote brain function, it has also been shown to possess anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective properties.
Perhaps what makes it distinct from its counterparts, is its stimulating properties!
This very property also stands as a justification for its banned status in the United States.
A very interesting experiment conducted on mice revealed how Phenylpiracetam efficiently decreased not just stress levels but also energy levels!
Mice were subject to take a forced swimming test after dosing S-Phenotropil and R-Phenotropil (the two enantiomers of Phenylpiracetam).
R-Phenotropil was concluded to have possessed better memory-boosting properties than S-Phenotropil.
Phenylpiracetam works to increase the number of neurotransmitter receptors, namely that of GABA, Dopamine, NMDA, and of course, Acetylcholine!
The number of receptors is directly proportional to the number of binding sites available.
More binding sites – more pronounced results!
Side effects of phenylpiracetam include:
- Irritability and mild agitation
- Sleep cycle disturbances
- Brain fog
Pramiracetam is birthed from Piracetam and was created synthetically in the lab by Parke Davis.
Soon after the discovery of Piracetam, a lot of synthetic members came into being to form the racetam family!
Like other members of its family, Pramiracetam increases memory quality, focus, concentration, and mood.
It is commonly employed for treating neurological conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease or Dementia.
In an experiment conducted amongst healthy individuals, the anti-amnestic properties of Pramiracetam were put to test.
Volunteers received a Scopolamine injection – which was intended to decrease memory formation and also leads to temporary memory impairment.
Compared to the control group, the trial group that received Pramiracetam following the injection of Scopolamine was able to combat the induced amnesia and performed better than the control group that received none of the Pramiracetam.
Similar results were demonstrated in another study, where Primaracetam and Piracetam both pushed to reverse the amnestic effects of Scopolamine.
Another interesting finding was observed in the radial arm maze task experiment.
The challenge involved rats to find their way through a 16-arm radial maze equipped with food at certain points.
After a 7 week trial, the results were conclusive of the positive memory-enhancing and spatial learning effects of Pramiracetam.
Pramiracetam acts in the Hippocampal region of the brain to induce vigorous uptake of Acetylcholine – which in turn markedly enhances cognitive performance.
Due to its ability to act as a protective agent during traumatic events in the brain, it has been termed as a possible neuroprotectant.
Some studies have also suggested that it does not only act centrally but peripherally via the adrenal glands as well!
Pramiracetam may also enhance brain fluidity in mice as well as human brains!
Side effects of pramiracetam include:
- Gastrointestinal disorders
- Agitation or irritability
*Pramiracetam is usually well tolerated, even in high doses.
Aniracetam was unraveled in a popular Swiss pharmaceutical laboratory, Hoffman-LaRoche in the 1970s.
It shares many of the same attributes as that of its counterparts in the racetam family.
And it too works by fluctuating and modulating the neurotransmitter levels in the brain.
Namely; Dopamine, Serotonin, and Acetylcholine.
Its fat-soluble properties cater to faster absorption and lean it towards a hepatocellular mode of excretion.
It is also known as the fat-soluble ampakine.
Ampakines extracts its initials from the AMPA receptors – these receptors play a role in treating various neurological diseases.
Not just the ones related to memory but also ones that involve mental instability; such as Schizophrenia.
The transmission of Glutamate is accelerated by these receptors – which results in sharper memory storage and recall.
Even though Aniracetam can greatly increase Acetylcholine levels, its performance is limited by its short bioavailability.
Also, its memory-enhancing capabilities seemed to have been halted in healthy pigeons.
In rats, however, Aniracetam has been shown to increase creativity and sociability due to efficient signal induction processes in the brain.
Coming onto its mood-elevating properties, Aniracetam has anti-depressant effects – this was demonstrated by a forced swim test on lab rats.
Aniracetam plays a healing role after brain injury or trauma – it works to re-establish the cognitive function and slowly restores brain integrity.
Side effects of aniracetam include:
*Aniracetam is also very well tolerated and produces little or no symptoms
Oxiracetam is the third one to be discovered in the racetam family.
It is more potent than Aniracetam and shares the same Ampakine features as that of the former.
Oxiracetam has mild stimulating properties and can lead to a certain ‘wakefulness’ effect.
People have compared its results to Adderall as well – minus the adverse effects!
Oxiracetam, like all racetams, enhances memory power and cognition.
These properties once amplified contribute to better learning experiences.
The increase in Acetylcholine along with other neurotransmitters aids to polished verbal fluency, especially in debilitated and old patients.
This also includes individuals suffering from Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and related disorders.
Along with enhancing both, short and long-term memory – Oxiracetam eliminates what is perhaps the most bothersome obstacle amongst individuals of all ages and sizes.
Upon reaching higher altitudes, our brain seems to demonstrate a lack of cognition and function.
Oxiracetam was tested at high altitudes (above 4000 meters) and executed good performance.
It alleviated cognitive decline.
Oxiracetam also offers neuroprotectant properties.
Like the majority of racetams, Oxiracetam also controls damage after traumatic events in the brain.
Oxiracetam does have stimulatory properties – it can give you a gist of caffeine-like wakefulness whilst dampening sleep spells!
Perfect for all those sleepy heads out there!
Alzheimer’s disease involves the clustering of amyloid-beta in the brain, which in turn triggers inflammation.
Oxiracetam has anti-inflammatory properties and works to barricade the effects of the inflammatory molecules released by the amyloids.
Oxiracetam also stands as a candidate for the treatment of multi-infarct dementia.
All of these nootropic effects are well-studied – with most of them occurring due to the amplified neurotransmission in the hippocampal region of the brain.
All in all, the efficiency of any nootropic mostly relies on how it reacts in the brain.
And Oxiracetam does a very good job at accelerating the brain function!
Where Can I Buy Oxiracetam?
While you can’t find Oxiracteam at any supplement store, you can Buy Oxiracetam from our Trusted Online source here.
Side effects of Oxiracetam include:
- Gastrointestinal disturbances
*Oxiracetam is very well tolerated with minimal to no side effects
Nefiracetam is another one of the fat-soluble smart drugs from the racetam family.
Like other members of its family, it boosts cognition, memory formation, and acts as a neuroprotectant.
It has a high affinity for the nicotinic Acetylcholine receptors – this results in the release of more neurotransmitters.
Especially GABA and Glutamate.
It also acts on Calcium channels, keeping them patent for longer so that the exchange of ions can occur for longer.
This too contributes to a superior memory-boosting mechanism.
Nefiracetam has also been recognized as a potential anti-amnestic drug because of its mechanism of action.
It also exerts an anti-inflammatory mechanism, which is pronounced in ischemic injuries of the brain.
The mechanism of action of Nefiracetam enables it to hinder the damage induced by scopolamine injected mice.
Scopolamine is sought to provoke learning impairment in mice, which nefiracetam tackled quite well!
Beta-Amyloids, once accumulated, can trigger the release of inflammatory substances such as Cytokines. These are the same amyloids that incur damage to the brain in Alzheimer’s patients.
Nefiracetam ameliorates the inflammatory damage and executes the properties of a neuroprotectant.
Users have also claimed that Nefiracetam broadens the visual field, making it appear more colorful and vivid!
And also aids in speech fluidity!
Common side effects of Nefiracetam include:
- Gastrointestinal disturbances
Coluracetam thrived from the Japanese laboratory that shares its name with a famous motor vehicle company!
The Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharmaceutical Company!
And if you’re wondering whether or not its name has to do with vibrancy or color, then you are right!
Like Nefiracetam, Coluracetam enhances not only the visual color spectrum but also the audio quality!
Imagine experiencing colors like never before!
But don’t get your expectations too high, the change won’t be ‘too’ drastic.
Coluracetam of course possesses cognitive properties as well.
It can efficiently increase memory formation and psychomotor abilities due to its high affinity (or love) for the Acetylcholine receptors.
The release of voluptuous (but calibrated) amounts of Acetylcholine caters for superior brain functioning.
This is a common trend amongst all the racetams – they all love to bind with the Nicotinic Acetylcholine receptors!
Coluracetam, however, slightly differs as far as its mechanism of action is concerned.
After binding with the Nicotinic Acetylcholine receptors, it marks it as the rate-limiting step and ignites the cascade of the activation of cholinergic neurons.
*In case you’re wondering what a rate-limiting step is: it’s the slowest step of the entire process or reaction and determines the end product and quantity of a specific reaction.
Coluracetam positively affects the mood and is thus a candidate for the treatment of depression.
The same principle applies to the treatment of anxiety as well!
Side effects or Coluracetam include:
- Fatigue or tiredness
*Coluracetam is otherwise non-toxic and well-tolerated in the human body
Finally the last member of the racetam family of nootropics!
Fasoracetam failed stage three of the clinical trials in the lab, after which its study was halted.
But it has now resurfaced in the nootropic field and has also gained the interest of scientists nationwide.
It was employed in the treatment of ADHD and shares a lot of similarities with other members of the racetam family of nootropic substances.
It fluctuates the concentrations of Acetylcholine, GABA, and Glutamate in the brain.
Side effects od Fasoracetam include:
- Gastrointestinal disturbances
What Is The Proper Dosage For Each Racetam?
All the racetams are unique, each affiliated with a different structure and set of properties.
Therefore, their dosage varies accordingly.
Here are some general rules for all the racetams:
General Rules for All Racetams:
Piracetam Dosage Guidelines
One study recommends 4800 mg per day as the ideal dosage for Piracetam.
Whereas another one declares 1200 mg per day as the optimum dosage.
Supermindhacker’s recommendation would be to ‘build’ your way through the dosage.
In some, 1200 mg per day might prove to be sufficient – others might only notice results at higher doses.
No matter what dosage range you opt for, make sure to divide it into three parts of the day.
The half-life of Piracetam is 5-6 hours.
You need to use Piracetam for at least 2-3 weeks before witnessing the desired results.
Phenylpiracetam Dosage Guidelines
Ingesting a total of 750 mg per day is recommended.
But it is advised NOT to exceed 750 mg – it is the upper limit.
You can divide it into doses of 100-250 mg and administer Phenylpiracetam up to thrice a day.
It is to be noted that Phenylpiracetam is more potent than Piracetam – hence the dampened dosage.
The half-life of Phenylpiracetam is 3-5 hours.
Pramiracetam Dosage Guidelines
According to a study, the effective dosage of Pramiracetam is 1200 mg per day – divided into two or three sections like usual.
Taking it with fatty edibles like olive or coconut oil increases its absorption due to its fat-soluble properties.
The half-life of Pramiracetam is 5-6.5 hours.
Aniracetam Dosage Guidelines
Administering 750-1500 mg per day of Aniracetam gives good results.
Break it up into two to three parts.
You may also top up the dose to 3000 mg – but that’s the upper limit!
The half-life of Aniracetam is 1-3 hours (lower than the rest of the racetams!).
Oxiracetam Dosage Guidelines
1200-4800 mg per day of Oxiracetam is the recommended range of dosage.
Slice it into sections of three for the day.
The half-life of Oxiracetam is 8 hours (pretty good).
Oxiracetam should be administered 60 minutes before any cognition demanding activity.
You also need to ingest it for 5 days continuously before noticing the desired results.
Its water-soluble properties allow you to ingest it with or without food.
Nefiracetam Dosage Guidelines
You can take up to 900 mg of Nefiracetam per day, divided into two or three doses.
The half-life Nefiracetam is 3-5 hours.
Coluracetam Dosage Guidelines
Due to its higher potency, you only need 20-80 mg of Coluracetam per day.
And this too should be divided into at least two parts.
P.s: 80 mg is the upper limit.
The half-life of Coluracetam is 3 hours.
Fasoracetam Dosage Guidelines
The recommended dosage for Fasoracetam is 20-100 mg per day which you need to administer thrice a day incrementally.
Due to its high potency, we suggest starting from the smallest dose.
Its half-life is 5.3 hours.
Warnings And Interactions Of Racetams!
Here are some general precautions I advise you to take when administering any nootropic at all:
WARNINGS AND INTERACTIONS OF RACETAMS:
Specific drug interactions of Racetams:
*With all racetams, abrupt withdrawal should be avoided
*Use in elderly patients should be continuously monitored
*Always consult with your doctor before use! (The same goes for any new supplement or nootropic substance!)
Where Can I Buy These Racetams?
Racetams are not approved by the FDA in the United States – so you may not find them in stores or ‘over the counter’.
In other countries, its sale is relatively less regulated.
But do not be dismayed my fellow Americans!
You can enjoy the benefits of racetams by purchasing them online or in the form of supplement stacks.
You can readily find some of them on Amazon too!
HOWEVER… that is not the best option.
My #1 Recommended Source for Buying Racetams for your Nootropic Stacks by Far is Here: Pure Nootropics.
I will tell you why in just a second (keep reading..)
But first, I will be recommending some great racetams stack ideas below, which will be worth your bucks if cognitive enhancement is what you’re after!
Stacking For Synergy! – (Why you Shouldn’t take Racetams As a Standalone Supplement!)
Racetams should almost always be ingested in a stack form!
Their effects become greatly magnified and worthy!
1) Stack Racetams With Alpha-GPC Or Citicoline!
So here’s the thing you need to know about racetams; they literally suck up all that Acetylcholine available and make it subject to uptake by certain channels.
This is great because your brain gets to have lots of this neurotransmitter.
But it does deplete Acetylcholine levels ultimately.
This is why you need an extra choline source – such as Alpha-GPC or citicoline.
Or any other nootropic or substances that increase Acetylcholine levels.
Not only will this save you from excess deprivation of Acetylcholine in available form and efficiently boost cognition, but also bypass some pretty nasty effects that result from less Acetylcholine availability!
So let’s just say that stacking racetams with a choline source is ESSENTIAL!
2) Stack With Other Racetams!
Because why not!
Combining different racetams (with a choline source as well) yields great results! Just make sure you still stick to the proper dosage guidelines for each one.
3) Stacking Racetams With DMAE (DMAE L-Bitartrate)
DMAE works to increase circulatory Acetylcholine levels.
4) Stack With Vinpocetine!
Vinpocetine can also gear up memory and performance and goes well with the racetam family.
Find out more about Vinpocetine here!
5) Stack them With L-Theanine & Bacopa Monnieri!
This is the perfect nootropic stack addition if you are taking racetams if you want to keep stress and anxiety levels at bay!
Say hello to a calm and serene version of yourself! This type of balance can be crucial to finding yourself in the “zone” as far as laser focused attention is concerned!
Definitely give these powerful nootropics a try in your next racetam nootropic stack!
Qualia Mind Has BOTH!
What Are Some Products That Contain Racetams?
When it comes to buying racetams online (like piracetam and phenylpiracteam etc…), one company comes to mind!
That company is Pure Nootropics.
*NOTE: Beware of copycat sites! >> Click here for their Official Website.
We always recommend their products as a trusted source and for good reason! Their products are all lab tested with certificates available for anyone to see for themselves.
Peace of mind is VERY IMPORTANT when purchasing any such substances like racetams online. You must be sure you are getting the real thing or else you’re putting yourself aat risk.
PureNootropics is a trusted vendor for all racetams, and the only one I personally use and recommend.
Reviews From Racetam Users On Longecity!
I’d like to start out by saying I’ve read many varying Phenylpiracetam accounts, and they truly do vary a lot. However in my case it’s a definite positive feedback.
Please note everyone’s experience is different and I only reflect my own personal experience. I’m not trying to sell it to anyone, nor put anyone off it. And as always, these are research chemicals, so take care and do your own research!
Now I’ve tried several of the ‘racetams – Oxi, Pram, the original Piracetam, and also Noopept. Each did a little something for me, but nothing too spectacular.
I noticed the the subtleties they were doing, but then I think I am fairly perceptive to any changes in my body. Whereas Phenylpiracetam is very pronounced.
SO, I received the Phenyl last week, I believe the quality is exceptional, although I’m no medicinal chemist (I do, however have a good mate who is, but we’ll touch on that another time – as I would be very interested to have it tested!).
It’s a fluffly white powder and upon close inspection I can see magnificent little crystalline structures. It also tastes horrific.
There is minor clumping, but I think that is to be expected when you have raw material like this with no fillers or binders added. I threw in a silicon bag for good measure as I wanted to ensure no moisture gets in.
I began by trying 150mg, at this dose there was some effect, but could be placebo. Later that same day I had another 150mg and this time I noticed a slight energy boost and mental clarity.
The following day I had 200mg and later another 200mg. I was very alert and productive at work and certainly needed no coffee to pick me up.
I work a lot of night shifts so this is excellent stuff for staying alert. Although that night I did not get much sleep, the following day I was surprised to wake up feeling very refreshed and ready to go.
The next day I decided to try 400mg in one dose. WOW holy jeebus I was impressed to find that after an hour had passed I was extremely alert, focused and at times borderlining on pleasant euphoria.
There was a fleeting anxiety at this dose, but then I am prone to a small degree of anxiety (too much caffeine doesn’t sit well with me) but this was tolerable. At times I did feel as though I could not sit still and needed to be doing something.
I can see how , although I can see potential to be uncomfortable with this feeling. I can describe the effects as almost like mild amphetamine, very clean, but not jittery.
And also an enhanced appreciation for music and sunshine felt particularly good. I had planned to take another smaller dose that afternoon, but there was no need and I didn’t want to push it.
I haven’t experimented further yet, but so far no tolerance. I can also say I don’t seem to be affected by having an empty or full stomach when taking it.
It’s also not something I feel inclined to take everyday as it is so powerful and under some circumstances may be highly inappropriate.
Reviews From The Reddit Fam’ of Nootropics Users…
Racetams don’t work all at once either. You can’t pop a few pills and be ready to go in the morning.
Constant and iterative dosing is required for almost all of them, with a few odd children having more stimulating effects. Don’t expect it to work on the first day, or even the first week.
It took two weeks for Aniracetam to actually start kicking in, which was the first nootropic I ever tried.
I have found it to be an effective clean and un-stimulating racetam. I have also had great benefit from attack dosing, which is taking a larger amount at first, and then weaning on to smaller and smaller doses.
It isn’t my favorite racetam, but its the first one I recommend, because it doesn’t come with many adverse side-effects the stimulating ones do.
This is my favorite racetam, but it comes with a catch. It doesn’t seem to have the same effect for everyone.
Some users can take this one for months and not see any cognitive benefit, while others it provides stimulation and a clean anxiolytic effect. I take 1500mg twice a day, and it helps me deal with stressful situations, and it almost has a social benefit. I’m less tightly wound on Aniracetam.
Some users report feeling the opposite of an anxiolytic effect, meaning they become more irritable. The only way to know is to test yourself.
Try small 750mg or lower doses and wait for about a week. Then increase the dose if you don’t feel anything.
Oxiracetam is a good study aid, and I use it as such. I find it wakes me up and puts me in a mood to write this guide even.
This is the workhorse of strenuous mental activity. If I have to go running, I take some too. I feel more active on it, and I want to get up and go.
I recommend this if Aniracetam doesn’t work. People report strong immediate effects, and increased cognition over the other racetams.
I use it in the mornings instead of a large dose of Piracetam, and it helps with memory recall and the formation of new memories.
recommend this one be taken in a stack with another racetam to get the full benefit. Based on the paired racetam, the effects differ.
For aniracetam, social anxiety is completely tamed and provides the user with a solid stimulant-like boost. Best taken in the morning to avoid sleep disturbances.
With oxiracetam there’s more physical energy. With piracetam there’s more focus and mental stimulation. I make my own blends with 20mg of coluracetam, and the rest of the capsule filled up with the pairing racetam.
I really really like fasoracetam. It’s helped get my social anxiety in check, and is part of my anxiety blend along with picamilon and NAC.
I haven’t used it for the phenibut tolerance much, but if taken directly before phenibut there is a noticeable difference.
I highly recommend anyone who suffers from anxiety to try this racetam.
My “Two Cents” On Racetams – Final Thoughts…
The racetam family holds a lot of diversity and has so many benefits to offer.
Their ability to impart clean cognitive function via their smart mechanism of action is remarkable.
The downside to these smart drugs would be their limited availability and their disapproval by the FDA.
Yes, you can purchase them separately online – but so far, I have not come across a nootropic stack that is equipped with even one member from the racetam family.
You must stack them yourself!
Perhaps we are to witness a revolution in the nootropic industry in the coming future!
Until then, you can buy your racetams here, and then try out one of the stack ideas I listed above!
List Of Related Nootropics:
Citations And References:
Citations And References:
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5) Zvejniece L, Zvejniece B, Videja M, Stelfa G, Vavers E, Grinberga S, Svalbe B, Dambrova M. Neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory activity of DAT inhibitor R-phenylpiracetam in experimental models of inflammation in male mice. Inflammopharmacology. 2020 Oct;28(5):1283-1292. doi: 10.1007/s10787-020-00705-7. Epub 2020 Apr 11. PMID: 32279140.
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11) Goldsmith SD, McDowell A. Designing a Formulation of the Nootropic Drug Aniracetam Using 2-Hydroxypropyl-β-Cyclodextrin Suitable for Parenteral Administration. Pharmaceutics. 2018 Nov 18;10(4):240. doi: 10.3390/pharmaceutics10040240. PMID: 30453664; PMCID: PMC6320825.
12) Phillips H, McDowell A, Mielby BS, Tucker IG, Colombo M. Aniracetam does not improve working memory in neurologically healthy pigeons. PLoS One. 2019 Apr 19;14(4):e0215612. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0215612. PMID: 31002681; PMCID: PMC6474613.
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