How Does Modafinil Affect Cognitive Functions within the Brain?

August 22, 2016

Don’t you wish getting over sleepiness and tiredness was as simple as popping a pill? Just one pill would be enough to boost positivity, improve focus and remember ever detail of your work flawlessly. Well, this dream could now be a reality with Modafinil drug. A new study conducted at the University of Oxford has found that Modafinil does improve the cognitive functions of the brain.

Modafinil is a narcolepsy drug that is prescribed to people with sleep disorders. It helped them stay alert and focused and avoid falling asleep. Researchers started to toy with the idea about how this drug affected the cognitive functions of well-rested people. Thus, they came up with results that showed the drug does improve the cognitive functions in people without any sleep disorders. However, the improvement was specific to a specific set of tasks.

The drug Modafinil improved abilities such as decision-making, flexibility in learning, planning, creativity as well as memory. The drug was useful in affecting complex thinking tasks where one required consolidated memory or executive functioning of the brain.

So How Does Modanifil Work in the Brain?

Modafinil has several theories on the mechanism of neurostimulation. One theory comprises the effect of histamine that enhances the range of the neurotransmitter dopamine. It inhibits its uptake and leaves enough for transmission of neuro-synaptic impulses.

Another interesting theory involves the interaction and activity of the Reticular Activating System neurons with Modafinil. They are present in the rhombencephalon. It tends to improve the arousal levels in humans.

There are many such theories that prove Modafinil has a positive impact on narcolepsy and improvement in wakefulness. One has not yet discovered the complete mechanism of action of the drug. However, there is a correlation between certain neurotransmitters and Modafinil that has been established.

What About the Negative Effects of Modafinil?

It is quite natural to worry about the negative effects that may affect one's brain when using a drug. However, there are no or very little negative effects of Modafinil over the brain that keeps the excitement around the drug alive.

People who have used the drug for cognitive enhancement do not experience any changes in their mood or behavior. A few have however complained of insomnia, headache or nausea. These side effects were also observed in participants who took a placebo.

Modafinil tends to affect the higher forms of thinking. This means it improves cognition as well as brain functions that require simple cognitive processes. Modafinil has shown a lot of potential as a ‘smart drug’. Exploring more about the effects of the drug could help create a better and more sophisticated pharmacological neuroenhancer.

Many associate Modafinil to the term ‘mind-altering drug’. Yet, people are opting for the drug under a doctor’s guidance to improve their mental performance and sustain productivity. Modafinil does improve cognitive behavior and improves your mental focus without altering your creativity. It has been studied by the top neuroscientists from around the world and has been found to unlock the potential of the brain without causing any serious harm.


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