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What we learned about Modafinil in 2017

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#1 jroseland

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Posted 21 December 2017 - 07:05 PM


The Science

It would be an understatement to say that it's been thoroughly studied; in total over a thousand pieces of published research on Modafinil can be found on Pubmed, with an impressive 580 human research papers in the last 10 years alone.
This article will summarize the science that's been done on Modafinil in 2017
In 2017 alone there were 80 papers published about it but don't worry I'm not going to summarize every single one because a lot of them are not very interesting.

Why 2017?

Often science does not always age well. In researching anything related to neurobiology, which is a pretty innovative field, you should have some preference for recency, Also in 2017 62 scientists and physicians along with five United States senators petitioned the National Library of Medicine & National Institutes of Health to change their rules and make public the funding sources of studies, before 2017 researchers could more or less bury the funding sources of their science behind pay walls. Now it's up front for everyone to see. This makes science more honest.

1*Z6mEAXsG0cqtNpt_KZO5Vg.jpeg

 

I've used Modafinil over a hundred times but believe it or not it's NOT my favorite smart drug.

{module Modafinil}

However, I use it consistently because it consistently puts me in a really focused state and it does an exceptionally good job doing what it's original pharmacological purpose was: keeping you really AWAKE.{module Modafinil Supplements}

There's a second reason I like it and recommend it highly to Biohackers seeking performance enhancement which is that it has good science backing it up. A lot of "Nootropics" are case studies of marketers trying to make a quick buck by misinterpreting bad scienceModafinil on the other hand is drug that a rigorous scientific epistemologist could really appreciate.

 

 

Wakefulness

126 person human trial out of Guy's Hospital, London evaluated it in treating central Hypersomnia, From the study: Thirty-nine per cent of the patients demonstrated a complete, 25% partial and 36% a poor response to treatment.
Central Hypersomnia is like super insomnia, and it's regarded as one of the most severe sleep dysfunctions. So it really speaks to the power of Modafinil that the majority of the patients experienced transformative recovery.

A UK paper on the subject of military combat surgeons who have to often perform surgeries in a sleep deprived state mentioned Modafinil being an effective method for combating fatigue.

Modafinil helped a person disabled by Pilocytic Astrocytoma to recover their consciousness and communication ability, as verified by Polysomnography which is a type of sleep study.

But you already know that Modafinil is a wakefulness agent, the rest of this article I'll focus on findings from recent research that might surprise you.

 

Memory

One case report out of North Carolina indicated that Modafinil may have caused resistance to propofol because of its effect on neural pathways that activate consciousness. 
Propofol is a bit of mysterious drug with the official purpose of getting rid of memories and it often causes unconsciousness, so it's kind of like the flashy thing in the Men in Black movies. I suppose then, Modafinil is a good drug then to take if you're going to be having a close encounter of the third kind.

An Austrian animal study noted that the R-Isomer, at least, of Modafinil has cognitive enhancing effects [on] spatial memory.

 

Working Memory

A randomized double blind, placebo controlled trial of 60 patients noted that it improved both...

  • Working memory - This is like the RAM of your conscious mind that you use for problem solving. 
  •  Episodic memory - This is your memory of your past. The house lived in as a child, your first job, your first kiss, etc

English-Turkish team of researchers concluded

However the patients in this study were recovering from depression, often people will have retarded working and episodic memory even after the more obvious symptoms of depression go away. So this does not guarantee that Modafinil will increase your baseline memory if you are otherwise healthy and not depressed.

...modafinil (200 mg) could improve episodic memory and working memory performance in patients with remitted depression. Modafinil may have potential as a therapeutic agent to help remitted depressed patients with persistent cognitive difficulties.

If you're an healthy (younger) person who would like to improve their memory my recommendations are Piracetam along with the Adaptogen stack of Panax Ginseng and Ginkgo Biloba.

{module Dual N-Back}

Biohackers are always very interested in hacking memory memory a reliable tool for doing this is Dual N-Back brain training which even raises your IQ. Modafinil is such an intense promoter of focus that brain training while dosed is like weight lifting on creatine, it's going to work out your mind a lot more.
So I'd venture that using the two in combination for 30-45 days would be a pretty effective Biohack for raising your IQ.

 

Cognition

A significant portion of Modafinil users are not people suffering from narcolepsy but otherwise healthy people seeking performance enhancement to work or study harder. 
An American study focused specifically on this usage

Another American study totaling 60 patients evaluated it's utility in improving recovery from cognitive impairment caused by time in an intensive care unit.

The domain-specific attentional benefits of modafinil have yet to be quantified objectively in healthy human volunteers...
Modafinil significantly enhanced attention (d prime) in humans...
These results indicate that modafinil produces domain-specific enhancement of attention in humans not driven by hyperarousal...

An Italian study of healthy elderly people noted

So this is implying greater levels of connectivity between the regions of the brain
{2jtoolbox photogallery id:49}
One of the more interesting pieces of research in 2017 was a study of nearly 3000 chess games played by Germans that compared Methylphenidate, modafinil, and caffeine. It concluded

The main finding of the study is that modafinil promotes enhanced centrality, a measure of the importance of nodes within functional networks... Present findings provide functional data supporting the hypothesis that modafinil can modulate the cortico-cerebellar connectivity of the aging brain.

Interestingly, the study suggests that Modafinil decreased the decisiveness of the players. The players markedly spent more time reflecting and thinking about their next move. So if a given day, project or task demands decisiveness you may want to reach for a different smart drug than Modafinil.

Only when controlling for game duration as well as when excluding those games lost on time, both modafinil and methylphenidate enhanced chess performance as demonstrated by significantly higher scores...

 

Depression

A German review concluded that it maybe effective for treatment resistant depression. From it's abstract

 

Behavior

[Modafinil] might be an option for depressed patients who are not responding to antidepressant monotherapy or established augmentation strategies.

Another German study administered 200 milligrams and studied how it affects decision making behavior

I'll admit I'm a bit confused by this study, is it saying that Modafinil makes you more likely to approach? Does this mean it's a good drug for pickup artists doing daygame?
That certainly hasn't been my experience, I think Modafinil is a pretty lousy drug for any kind of socializing. I'll try to get a statement from the researchers to clarify.
Either way Modafinil does change your personality while you're dosed on it.

We applied a task that separately tests the choice of previously rewarded behaviours (approach) and avoidance of previously punished behaviours... Modafinil but not placebo induced a significant bias towards approach behaviour as compared to the frequency of avoidance behaviour.

 

ADHD

Korean meta analysis looked the results of multiple human studies done to determine it value as a treatment of ADHD. From it's abstract

 

In University Culture

An extensive search of databases and clinical trial registries resulted in five published short-term randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials.
The results showed that modafinil more significantly improved ADHD [scores] than placebo...
In terms of commonly observed side effects, modafinil showed significantly higher incidence of decreased appetite... and insomnia

Interestingly a softer science study looked at how Modafinil and use of study drugs are regarded morally in UK and anglosphere universities. The authors of the paper conducted focus groups totaling 66 students From it's abstract

0*HVm1njvb2ULut49K.jpg

We find that [pharmacological cognitive enhancement] resilience among UK university students is mediated by normative and cultural judgments disfavoring competitiveness and prescription drug taking. [pharmacological cognitive enhancement] risk can be augmented by social factors such as soft peer pressure and normalization of enhancement within social and institutional networks.

Speaking of social life and social dynamics a swiss study noted that

As I've said elsewhere, Modafinil is really NOT my go to social smart drug.

...modafinil increased misclassifications of emotions as angry on the [Facial Emotion Recognition Task]

 

Stroke Recovery

A double-blind, placebo controlled human trial of 232 Australians noted it's helpful effect with the debilitating fatigue that often follows a stroke. It concluded:

{2jtoolbox photogallery id:51}

Participants receiving modafinil reported a significant decrease in fatigue... and improved quality of life... compared with placebo

But Modafinil doesn't always outperform the placebo, from an American clinical trial treating fatigue in those suffering from an autoimmune disease of the liver.

In patients with [Primary Biliary Cirrhosis] who have fatigue, treatment with modafinil for 12 weeks was safe and fairly well tolerated; however, it did not result in beneficial effects on fatigue compared with patients treated with placebo

Vs Addiction

An animal study demonstrated that Modafinil decreased conditioned place preference induced by amphetamines. I find this interesting because conditioned place preference is a pavlovian method were an animal goes to a specific location in it's maze or living environment and is given a stimulating drug, thus it develops a preference for that place and gets excited there about getting high 
Perhaps this indicates that Modafinil could be helpful to addicts in recovery who get that enticing Serotonin hit whenever they pass by a place that they used to indulge their self destructive vice.

 

Pregnancy

A Spanish study on narcoleptic women administered it to 6 pregnant women, without adverse effect on the women or their pregnancies.

 

Motor Enhancement

As many casual users will attest to, Modafinil enhances your motor control. It will likely make you a little more graceful on the basketball court or dancefloor. 
An animal study noted that it improved motor impairment, which makes it an option to consider for those suffering from Parkinson's.

 

Conclusion...

I'm optimistic that bad science is on the decline (at least in regards to smart drugs like Modafinil). There's already a number of double blind, placebo controlled, randomized human trials pre-registered for Modafinil research in 2018. 
It appears also that the research institutions are figuring out that there's tremendous public interest in Nootropics or smart drugs that can be used by healthy young people to make them happier, healthier and more productive. 
This indicates science getting more into the prevention and empowerment business as opposed to just being in the business of treating sick people.


Edited by jroseland, 21 December 2017 - 07:10 PM.

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#2 Mind_Paralysis

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Posted 22 December 2017 - 03:24 PM

Now this I like! = ) Going to have a good look at this soon - seems like you've done a really good job here, Roseland! More of these updates would be cool - perhaps one on good ol' Piracetam? That's certainly an extensively studied drug as well, and I know there's been plenty of new studies in the last couple of years, elucidating more on it.



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#3 jroseland

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Posted 23 December 2017 - 05:48 PM

More of these updates would be cool - perhaps one on good ol' Piracetam?

Yes sir! I'll publish a similar summary of Piracetam research in Q1 2018 


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#4 justmodz

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Posted 10 March 2018 - 01:55 PM

Ok I have been selling modafinil for nearly eight years(and researching it for as long) and can agree with most of what the OP said in a very informative post.  I sell to a couple of stroke victims and modafinil is excellent for fatigue in fact it helps immensely.  As the patient recovers modafinil is able to be reduced without the fatigue resurfacing.

The OP says it isnt good for socialising for him but that is him as different people react differently to modafinil and also to the fillers and binders used in the manufacture of tablets.  For me modafinil is very much a pick me up on crappy days, however, people react differently to it.  The pharmacology of modafinil is more what I have got into and the manufacture of tablets (interest stuff and not just as regards modafinil) and the interactions of fillers and binders on people and also their moods and how a filler can change how a drug is felt.   

There are so many misconceptions as regards modafinil that it is nice to see a sane rational and informative post which doesn't get into things such as SJS - Stevens-Johnson Syndrome or the film limitless.  Honestly I am sick of pointing out that you can get SJS from taking plenty of meds even antibiotics or that modafinil is not anything like NZT-48 the drug in Limitless

So many thanks to the OP as I actually enjoyed reading his post where usually I am going "oh no" after a paragraph or two 

 

 


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#5 Mind_Paralysis

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Posted 10 March 2018 - 10:53 PM

Ok I have been selling modafinil for nearly eight years(and researching it for as long) and can agree with most of what the OP said in a very informative post.  I sell to a couple of stroke victims and modafinil is excellent for fatigue in fact it helps immensely.  As the patient recovers modafinil is able to be reduced without the fatigue resurfacing.

The OP says it isnt good for socialising for him but that is him as different people react differently to modafinil and also to the fillers and binders used in the manufacture of tablets.  For me modafinil is very much a pick me up on crappy days, however, people react differently to it.  The pharmacology of modafinil is more what I have got into and the manufacture of tablets (interest stuff and not just as regards modafinil) and the interactions of fillers and binders on people and also their moods and how a filler can change how a drug is felt.   

There are so many misconceptions as regards modafinil that it is nice to see a sane rational and informative post which doesn't get into things such as SJS - Stevens-Johnson Syndrome or the film limitless.  Honestly I am sick of pointing out that you can get SJS from taking plenty of meds even antibiotics or that modafinil is not anything like NZT-48 the drug in Limitless

So many thanks to the OP as I actually enjoyed reading his post where usually I am going "oh no" after a paragraph or two 

 

I agree with most of your post, but I feel compelled to mention this as well - I react similarly to the OP when it comes to Modafinil - only the very lowest dosages (50-100 mg) are more of the "pick me up" type effect - after that, I become rather un-social in behaviour - more annoyed with others, since I get obsessively narrow-minded, focused only on a singular task.

For what it's worth, I get the same effects from Dextroamphetamine as well - any dose higher than the lowest (3 mg), makes me non-social and only annoyed with others, since it takes time away from the repetitive task I get locked in on.

 

I do not, however, get such a response from Methylphenidate. (it doesn't cause any positive effects other than on the very low end of the scale either though, 15 mg at the most)
 

This then, obviously proves that, since me and Roseland are very different (he having Autism, I believe, and me having a completely different neurodevelopmental disorder - SCT) that this response is probably not uncommon.

 

 

For a drug which improves socialising for me, I would rather rank something like TIANEPTINE than stimulants or eugeroics.



#6 justmodz

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Posted 10 March 2018 - 11:49 PM

I totally agree about the dosage as I even, as a seller, do not advocate the use of doses larger than 100mg - I post on reddit and despise those there who seem to think it is cool to take large doses of modafinil (15 year old kids are such jerks).  Do enough research and you will see that studies show modafinil is effective on doses as low as 25mg.  I personally do not take anything greater than 100mg except on the are occasion when I need something to carry me through the day and when I am trying out new stuff - usually in the name of research as I cannot say this is a good combination or this reacts like this if I don't do it myself.  I try all brands of modafinil I sell so I can tell my buyers what I feel they are like plus I pass on what other people have said so they can hear others viewpoints.  I like the feeling I get from a small dose as I feel better for being sociable - if I take too much modafinil I am actually very hyper and will bounce about the place and smile widely and be ever so polite - more than usual but when it wears off I crash totally and then I get into a nasty mood.  Yes take too much modafinil and you do become locked into a task it is almost hypnotic so another reason why I tell people start low and see what it is like and don't ever start high

 

I cannot comment on Methylphenidate never having tried it and do not sell drugs that are illegal - in the UK modafinil is a prescription medication but Methylphenidate is not.   The same with Dextroamphetamine because I am not going to sell anything I have not tried and which is also illegal (I have a feeling this is more a case of not wanting to go to jail rather than morality but I am not sure)

 

Personally for me I like modafinil as it gives me a feel, to a degree, of speed (amphetamines) which when a teen was my drug of choice, well till I nearly died.  Plus it is good for making me concentrate on the task in hand and also yes it makes me sociable and makes my cognitive  functioning just that bit better - not  tonight as I took hardly any as I was busy and didn't take it till late and it has worn of and I am, right now, shattered which is why this post isn't as succinct or as clear as I had intended. 

 

Yes modafinil is good but only when the right dose for you is taken 

and now friends I am going to bid you all goodnight 


Edited by justmodz, 10 March 2018 - 11:52 PM.


#7 budmerman

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Posted 03 April 2018 - 03:10 PM

funny about the experiment with chess players as i am a player.  i have a script for modafinil.  id still recommend caffeine over modafinil just because of availability, cost, legality, and safety record.  the edge you get from modafinil seem really marginal.  while science can be conclusive it can be difficult for lay people like myself to discern the degree of conclusiveness. my point is if caffeine isnt helping you, modafinil probably wont. if caffeine is a beneficial to you life, modafinil probably wont be much of an improvement. 

it only takes a little discipline to get over caffeines edginess to take longer decision consideration. 



#8 justmodz

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Posted 03 April 2018 - 10:04 PM

funny about the experiment with chess players as i am a player.  i have a script for modafinil.  id still recommend caffeine over modafinil just because of availability, cost, legality, and safety record.  the edge you get from modafinil seem really marginal.  while science can be conclusive it can be difficult for lay people like myself to discern the degree of conclusiveness. my point is if caffeine isnt helping you, modafinil probably wont. if caffeine is a beneficial to you life, modafinil probably wont be much of an improvement. 

it only takes a little discipline to get over caffeines edginess to take longer decision consideration. 

I used to play contract  bridge at a competitive level within my own country and I certainly would never have used modafinil as the concentration at such a level was intense - used to get home and spend the next few hours trying to get back into a place where I did not see everything in terms of cards and point count.  Using modafinil would have ruined my game as I was an impulsive player (partnered with a more sedate steady partner who reined me in which was perfect for us both) and modafinil would have wrecked my style of game plus given the degree of intensity required anyway  I would have been unable to play effectively and you cannot reflect too long over a bid in a tournament.  I do not drink tea or coffee and limit my caffeine choice to coca cola and would never do so while playing bridge.  I do not find that caffeine is beneficial at all but modafinil is great for work but a high intensity game requiring extreme concentration over two days is not something that you can do on modafinil.  In bridge you need to be able to make decisions and sometimes those decisions need to be quick while by your bid telling your partner what you hold also you have to anayse by your opponents bidding what they hold in the way of cards and also what system they are playing.  Modafinil is great for work and study great for recreational purposes but when you are playing a game that requires all your knowledge, all your concentration plus an ability to read your partner and his bids as well as what the opposing pair are bidding while mentally trying to work out where cards are held it is something you cannot do as it would impede your instincts and that for me was what contract bridge was about.  Incidentally I was darn good at the game and regret giving it up I decided to do other things in other countries and I have made more money selling modafinil than I ever made playing in tournaments.  For games like chess and bridge I dont see any  viability in the use of modafinil, cant comment on caffeine as not a great caffeine user


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#9 jroseland

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Posted 09 April 2018 - 09:24 AM

Have you experimented with any other smart drugs as a chess player?

funny about the experiment with chess players as i am a player.  

 



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#10 budmerman

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Posted 13 April 2018 - 08:32 PM

Have you experimented with any other smart drugs as a chess player?

no







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