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Modafinil

Modafinil

Modafinil is an FDA-approved nootropic (cognitive enhancer) used to treat symptoms of daytime sleepiness (narcolepsy) and fatigue. In addition to improving wakefulness, modafinil is also capable of enhancing other important bodily functions such as attention, memory, mood, reaction time, and athletic performance. In fact, modafinil is used by astronauts in order to combat fatigue, improve cognitive function, and adjust circadian rhythm in space.

Overall Health Benefits of Modafinil

  • Treats Excessive Sleepiness and Improves Sleep Quality [1-66]
  • Improves Cognition [67-94]
  • Combats Fatigue [95-115]
  • Improves Mood [116-137]
  • Improves Exercise Performance [138-141]
  • Treats Addiction [142-146]
  • Helps Lose Weight [147-153]

How Modafinil Works

Modafinil is a central nervous system stimulant, which means that it works by stimulating the activity of the brain and spinal cord. Researchers believe that modafinil exerts its health benefits by boosting the levels of important brain chemicals (neurotransmitters) such as dopamine, serotonin, norepinephrine, histamine, glutamate, and orexin. Compared to other cognitive enhancers like amphetamines, modafinil is very safe and has fewer side effects.

Proven Health Benefits of Modafinil

There is an overwhelming body of clinical evidence supporting the diverse health benefits of modafinil. Since it is an FDA-approved drug, it can provide effective cognitive stimulation and positive effects on other body systems with no adverse side effect.

Treats Excessive Sleepiness and Improves Sleep Quality

With its beneficial effect on neurotransmitters, studies show that modafinil can help treat narcolepsy and improve one’s quality of life:

  1. In patients with excessive daytime sleepiness associated with narcolepsy, long-term modafinil treatment significantly improved disease severity. [1-16]
  2. In patients with chronic shift work sleep disorder, modafinil significantly improved functioning and quality of life. [17-21]
  3. Treatment with 200 mg of modafinil reduced extreme sleepiness in patients with chronic shift work sleep disorder and resulted in significant improvement in work performance. [22]
  4. In patients with excessive daytime sleepiness caused by Parkinson’s disease, modafinil administration at a dose of 200 mg per day significantly reduced subjective sleepiness.       [23-30]
  5. In patients with myotonic dystrophy, a genetic disorder that causes progressive loss and weakening of muscles, modafinil reduced excessive daytime sleepiness and improved mood. [31-33]
  6. Either monotherapy or combination therapy, modafinil reduced sleepiness and fatigue in patients with major and bipolar depression. [34-39]
  7. In patients taking opioids and antipsychotics, modafinil reduced subjective sleepiness without disrupting sleep pattern. [40-43]
  8. In patients with sleep apnea syndrome, modafinil administration improved measures of sleepiness. [44]
  9. In patients with excessive sleepiness associated with obstructive sleep apnea/hypopnea syndrome, modafinil improved night-time wakefulness without disrupting daytime sleep.           [45-56]
  10. In patients with traumatic brain injury, modafinil ameliorated excessive daytime sleepiness. [57]
  11. In patients with multiple sclerosis, modafinil treatment for three years or more reduced excessive daytime sleepiness. [58-60]
  12. In patients with major depressive disorder who do not respond to antidepressant therapy, modafinil augmentation rapidly (within 1 week) and significantly improved sleep quality.  [61-63]
  13. In patients subjected to sleep deprivation, modafinil administration every 8 hours for three days resulted in a satisfactory level of vigilance, both subjective and objective, as evidenced by total absence of microsleep episodes. [64]
  14. In patients with excessive daytime sleepiness related to narcolepsy, modafinil was found to be effective than methylphenidate, a drug used to treat narcolepsy. [65]
  15. In chronic cocaine users, morning-dosed modafinil promoted nocturnal sleep, normalized sleep architecture, and decreased daytime sleepiness. [66]

Improves Cognition

Studies show that this cognitive enhancer can safely and effectively improve various areas of cognitive function:

  1. In patients with multiple sclerosis, modafinil treatment improved delayed memory and working memory on a list-learning task. [67-69]
  2. In patients with obstructive sleep apnea, modafinil improved performance on a test of behavioral alertness and reduced functional impairments. [70]
  3. In sleep-deprived patients, modafinil reversed the debilitating mood and cognitive effects of sleep loss. [71]
  4. In patients with residual late-day sleepiness associated with narcolepsy, administration of modafinil at midday significantly improved executive function. [72]
  5. In healthy volunteers without sleep deprivation, 200 mg of modafinil significantly reduced error rates in several difficult performance tasks. [73]
  6. In healthy volunteers, modafinil administration at a dose of 100 mg/day for 7 days enhanced the efficiency of brain regions involved in cognitive information processing. [74]
  7. In young adult male volunteers, a single oral dose of modafinil significantly enhanced performance in a series of tests assessing visual pattern recognition memory. [75]
  8. In non-sleep deprived healthy volunteers, modafinil significantly improved performance on several cognitive tests of planning and working memory. [76-77]
  9. In healthy volunteers, single oral dose of modafinil enhanced visual short-term memory storage capacity. [78]
  10. In healthy non-smoking volunteers, modafinil administration at a dose of 200 mg improved cognitive task of attention switching. [79]
  11. In sleep-deprived individuals, modafinil improved attention, wakefulness, memory, and executive functions to a significantly higher degree. [80]
  12. In patients with schizophrenia, modafinil improved symptoms, attention, working memory, executive functioning, and emotions. [81-85]
  13. In healthy volunteers, modafinil administration at a dose of 300 mg daily improved cognitive and physiological functions. [86]
  14. In people with a first episode of psychosis, a single dose of 200 mg modafinil significantly improved the analysis of emotional face expressions. [87]
  15. In healthy participants, modafinil administration at a dose of 400 mg significantly improved judgments of simple and complex emotional expressions following sleep deprivation. [88]
  16. In multiple cell studies, modafinil prevented programmed cell death and enhanced the communication between neurons (nerve cells). [89-94]

Combats Fatigue

Modafinil can also boost energy levels by combating the effects of fatigue on the body. There is strong scientific evidence supporting the anti-fatigue properties of modafinil:

  1. In patients with multiple sclerosis, modafinil administration improved fatigue, focused attention, and dexterity without any adverse side effects. [95-104]
  2. In sleep-deprived patients who were subjected to sustained mental work, modafinil administration improved fatigue with fewer side effects. [105-106]
  3. In narcolepsy patients who were switched from psychostimulants, administration of modafinil at 200-400 mg once daily for 6 weeks improved quality of life and subjective feelings of vigor and reduced fatigue. [107]
  4. In patients suffering from Parkinson’s disease fatigue, modafinil treatment improved symptoms compared to placebo. [108]
  5. In patients suffering from fatigue associated with stroke, modafinil treatment improved scores on the Fatigue Severity Scale and in some subscales of the stroke-specific quality of life questionnaire. [109-110]
  6. Twelve weeks of modafinil augmentation relieved fatigue in patients with major depressive disorder. [111]
  7. Modafinil administration helped patients with chronic fatigue syndrome recover. [112]
  8. In patients receiving chemotherapy, modafinil relieved fatigue associated with the treatment. [113]
  9. In patients with primary biliary cirrhosis, modafinil administration at a dose of 100 mg per day significantly improved fatigue severity. [114]
  10. In patients with sarcoidosis, a disabling inflammatory condition affecting multiple organs, modafinil administration relieved fatigue. [115]

Improves Mood

Modafinil is not only a cognitive enhancer but it’s also a mood booster. There’s a good deal of evidence to back up the beneficial effects of modafinil on overall mood:

  1. In normal healthy men and women, administration of modafinil increased general mood. [116]
  2. In healthy individuals, administration of modafinil increased alertness and improved mood. [117]
  3. In healthy, non sleep-deprived students, modafinil administration at a dose of 100-200 mg decreased measures of anxiety such as shaking, palpitations, restlessness, muscular tension, and irritability. [118]
  4. In patients with myotonic dystrophy, modafinil reduced excessive somnolence and enhanced mood. [119]
  5. In patients with mood disorder, modafinil relieved symptoms of depression without any adverse side effects. [120-122]
  6. In narcolepsy patients who were switched from psychostimulants, administration of modafinil at 200-400 mg once daily for 6 weeks improved subjective feelings of vigor. [123]
  7. In sleep-deprived pilots, modafinil administration at a dose of 100 mg improved simulator performance and mood. [124-125]
  8. Modafinil has been shown to be more effective than placebo in treating symptoms of bipolar depression. [126]
  9. In patients with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, modafinil film-coated tablets significantly improved symptoms with fewer side effects. [127-136]
  10. In patients with spinal cord injury, modafinil administration increased self-esteem and motivation, as well as decreased self-consciousness. [137]

Improves Exercise Performance

Modafinil can benefit both professional athletes and amateurs by improving their exercise performance. Studies show that this powerful nootropic can heighten focus and boost productivity:

  1. In patients undergoing mentally demanding tasks, high-dose (200 mg) modafinil significantly improved reaction time compared to low-dose (100 mg). [138]
  2. Modafinil administration significantly improved reaction time and cognitive functioning in athletes. [139-140]
  3. Acute ingestion of modafinil in healthy male subjects prolonged exercise time to exhaustion. [141]

Treats Addiction

For people seeking safe and effective alternative solutions to drug addiction, modafinil can provide long-term solution. Results from several clinical trials show that modafinil is beneficial in treating different types of addiction:

  1. In patients with alcohol dependence, a single dose of 200 mg of modafinil improved impulsive decision making. [142]
  2. In cocaine-dependent patients, modafinil administration at 400 mg per day reduced self-reported and behavioral impulsivity. [143]
  3. In pathological gamblers, modafinil administration at 200 mg per day decreased desire to gamble, salience of gambling words, disinhibition and risky decision-making. [144]
  4. In methamphetamine-dependent patients, modafinil treatment significantly reduced craving or severity of dependence. [145]
  5. In rats, modafinil administration completely prevented opiate-seeking behavior. [146]

Helps Lose Weight

Modafinil can also improve body composition by reducing fat percentage. There’s increasing evidence supporting the benefits of this nootropic drug on weight loss:

  1. In patients with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, supplementation of modafinil at a variable dose of 170-425 mg daily for 6 weeks resulted in reduced appetite. [147]
  2. In patients taking antipsychotic medication for schizoaffective disorder, modafinil treatment resulted in a significant weight loss. [148-151]
  3. In food addicts, modafinil administration decreased body weight by reducing the impulse for food. [152]
  4. Modafinil supplementation at a dose of 200 mg or higher was associated with significant weight loss. [153]

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