The recent report of Lobaugh et al1
provides convincing evidence that piracetam is not the miracle drug for Down syndrome claimed by its proponents. The study is well controlled, the analysis detailed, and the conclusions strong. Yet an examination of their data reveals positive effects that the authors have overlooked and evidence that the negative effects are of less concern than their comments would warrant.
First, Figure 2 lists 72 primary outcome measures of attention, memory, perceptual abilities, executive function, and fine motor skills. Of these, 46 produced results that were better for piracetam than for the placebo. An outcome such as this or better by chance is highly unlikely (binomial test, P = .01).