For centuries, scientists have been going after drugs that promote mental health and improve cognitive functions of the brain without causing addiction and withdrawal symptoms. It looks like the wait is over now as recent researches have proved effectiveness of a drug called as modafinil (sold under brand name Modalert 200mg at Duckdose). Modafinil is prescribed for a number of medical conditions like sleep apnea syndrome, narcolepsy and shift work sleep disorder. Recently it is emerging as a drug of choice for boosting mental health due to its pharmacodynamics properties.
Mental health is a state of emotional, psychological and social well-being. WHO defines mental health as a state of well-being in which every individual realizes his or her own potential, can cope with normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community. Mental health is not about being happy 24 hour a day, 7days a week. All of us go through lives when at one time we are happy and at other times we are sad or anxious. Those are normal reactions of our lives. So, what actually constitutes to mental health and when do we classify someone as having mental illness? Mental health is an index of three factors. The first determinant of mental health is how you engage yourself in productive work that tests your cognitive abilities and intelligence. Productive work can be anything like reading a book, painting scenery, knitting a sweater, teaching a class or understanding lecture in a class as a student. All of these activities are productive, that is they engage our senses and intellect and help us to grow. The opposite of this is destructive activity that harms us in one way or the other. The second aspect of mental health is to engage in fulfilling relationships; relationships that make us feel stronger or happier. No matter how many friends or family members you have, the relationships that you have are good for you. The third and most important aspect of mental health is ability to adapt to circumstances or cope with stress and adversity. Human brains are designed to cope with stressful situations like not getting a job, not having good grades in class, losing a loved one, and broken relationships and so on and so forth. Departure from these aspects of mental health constitutes mental illness. People with mental illness have difficulty with their concentration and memory; they are sad, anxious and irritable. People lose interest in the activities they used to enjoy in the past. They remain secluded, avoid social gatherings and prefer their beds most of the time in a dark environment. All of these symptoms suggest that your mental health is not good and something needs to be done about it.
Modafinil has been used as a wakefulness promoting agent for many years. Recently, it has been added in category of drugs called as smart drugs, or nootropics, or cognitive-enhancers. Smart drugs are drugs that enhance cognitive function of the brain, and modafinil is widely adapted now on a day because it has low abuse potential and fewer side effects. Modafinil has been shown to improve cognitive function in sleep deprived people and a number of psychiatric conditions such as schizophrenia and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
Modafinil binds the same dopamine transporter (DAT) as cocaine but in a different way. The concentrations required for modafinil to bind this transporter is lower than other psycho- stimulant drugs; that’s why it only causes a moderate increase in extracellular concentrations of dopamine. This property if modafinil is the reason it doesn’t cause dependence and abstinence symptoms of any sort. Modafinil not only works on dopamine receptors, it has been shown to increase norepinephrine levels in the hypothalamus, especially ventrolateral preoptic nucleus of the hypothalamus which is involved in inhibiting reticular activating system, thus inducing wakefulness and alertness. It has also been shown to increase levels of serotonin, glutamate, orexin and histamine and decrease the levels of inhibitory neurons GABA. The sites where these neurotransmitters are released are interesting. Modalert increases the levels of stimulatory neurotransmitters in prefrontal cortex, temporal lobe and hypothalamus, while at the same time increasing levels of inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA in amygdala. This physiological effect of modalert has immense practical value. It improves alertness, memory, attention, concentration, wakefulness, critical thinking, problem solving, decision making while at the same time dampens threatening stimuli coming from amygdala such as anxiety and low mood. This property places modalert at a much higher place than other psycho-stimulant drugs such as amphetamines which cause anxiety and restlessness.
Above discussion indicates that modafinil is great for your mental health and stamina. You get drawn in to a task and distractions are minimized. You get great focus on whatever task you are performing. Your mental endurance and capability increases. Mental fog disappears and you get a clearer picture of your thoughts. Your IQ may go up by 10-15 points when on modafinil for longer period of time. Studies have indicated that modafinil has either anxiolytic effect or no effect on anxiety at all. Modafinil has been used successfully in patients with depression. It makes an excellent combination with antidepressant drugs. It increases vigilance and energy in depressed patients and reduces their fatigue. Its effects have been so profound that researchers are pondering now to use modafinil as monotherapy for patients with depression. Modafinil is working wonders in sleep deprived people on work. It increases efficiency and alertness in sleep deprived people without causing any dependence and side effects. It has been used successfully in soldiers to reduce effects of sleep deprivation and fatigue. The effective dose of modafinil ranges from 100mg to 400mg, depending on individual needs.
- Modafinil increases wakefulness and alertness, and is used in sleep disorders like narcolepsy and obstructive sleep apnea.
- Modafinil is great for mental health. It enhances cognitive functions without causing noticeable side effects.
- It decreases brain fog in depressed patients and gives clear thoughts to the patient.
- It increases motivation and productivity as it elevated mood and energy.
- It increases learning capability and retention and its effects don’t fade away even after discontinuing it.
- When used for longer periods of time, modafinil is shown to have neuroprotective effects and can prevent diseases of the central nervous system.