Boost Your Brainpower With Modafinil

Boost Your Brainpower With Modafinil

Modafinil is a wakefulness-promoting smart pill that treats excessive sleepiness due to conditions like narcolepsy or shift work sleep disorder. It’s also often used off-label as a cognitive enhancer.

Researchers found that taking the smart pill improved performance on some tasks. But the results varied depending on the test. More complex tests seemed to show better improvements than basic ones.

What is Modafinil?

A new study suggests that modafinil may be safe for healthy people to use long-term. A team of Oxford researchers led by Ruairidh Battleday and Anna-Katherine Brem has found that the smart pill, which is known commercially as Modalert 200 mg tablet, improves performance on complex tests that measure attention, learning, and memory.

The smart pill was originally designed to treat sleep disorders, including narcolepsy and shift work sleep disorder. It increases wakefulness and prevents excessive sleepiness without interfering with normal sleep at night. Some doctors have started to prescribe the smart pill off-label for people with no sleep problems to improve their mental alertness.

Unlike amphetamines, modafinil does not cause addiction. It is thought to act on neurotransmitter systems in the brain to increase alertness. It is a Schedule IV controlled substance because of reports of rare cases of abuse. It is also available in some countries, without prescription, as a wakefulness-promoting supplement under the brand name Provigil.

How Can I Take Modafinil?

Modafinil is still used to treat many sleep disorders like narcolepsy and shift work sleep disorder. Modafinil 200 also boosts alertness in people without a sleep disorder. It is sometimes prescribed for people who want to stay awake during the day such as students or business professionals.

A recent study showed that cognitively enhancing smart pills may help healthy adults to perform better on basic tests of thinking ability, but not as well on more complex tasks. Basic tests tend to measure just one sub-component of cognition and are typically designed for neurologically impaired people.

Complex tests include those that assess multiple components of brain function such as a test that measures attention and executive function, a task that requires flexibility in thinking and short-term memory, or a chess-playing study. However, even these studies could be improved by using better methods of measuring cognition. They should also involve more people with different preexisting health problems to see how different the smart pill’s effects are for each individual.

How Does Modafinil Work?

Modafinil works by changing the amounts of natural substances in your brain that control sleep and wakefulness. It is not a classical psychostimulant like amphetamines and does not cause the ‘crash’ that often occurs when they wear off.

It is not clear how this improves cognitive function but it may help to counteract the cognitive deficiency caused by lack of sleep in healthy aging people and by MCI and early-stage dementia patients. It may also boost the effectiveness of other treatments for these conditions. Talk to your doctor if you have any concerns.

What Are the Side Effects of Modafinil?

Although modafinil does have some psychiatric adverse effects, they tend to be less severe than those associated with other stimulant smart pills such as Adderall. These side effects can include mania, delusions, hallucinations, aggression, and suicidal thoughts. These effects occur more frequently in people who have a history of psychiatric disorders.

The researchers behind the study published in PLOS ONE asked 64 healthy volunteers to take either modafinil or a placebo. They then gave them a series of reading and sentence completion tests, which are commonly used to test cognition. The volunteers who took the smart pill performed better on the tests.

The researchers caution that modafinil should never be used as a substitute for getting enough sleep. It can also interfere with CPAP treatments for obstructive sleep apnea. It may also be habit-forming, and should not be shared with others or given to children younger than 17. Side effects of the smart pill include serious skin rashes such as erythema multiforme major and Stevens-Johnson syndrome.

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