Modafinil Enhances Working Memory and Episodic Memory in Depressed Patients
Depression is associated with cognitive dysfunction, which is a core symptom of the disorder. Cognitive deficits typically persist even after depression treatment and mood improvements have been achieve. A study published in the December issue of Biological Psychiatry suggests that the cognitive enhancer modafinil may be an effective treatment for patients with such deficits. This article will review the latest research findings to determine if modafinil is the best treatment for patients suffering from depression.
Modafinil improves episodic memory.
Studies on the use of modafinil have shown that it improves episodic memory and working-memory cognition in patients with schizophrenia. Its effects on the brain are related to alterations in dopamine and noradrenaline levels, which are important for memory. Additionally, modafinil has been show to improve regional blood flow to the hippocampus. These changes may explain the positive effects of the drug on encoding and memory.
In a study of 60 depressed patients, researchers found that Modalert improved episodic memory. Working memory cognition in those who had remitted depression. The researchers assessed patients’ baseline cognitive functions using the Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery. They then allocated patients to one of two treatment groups: a placebo-controlled, double-blind, parallel-group design. Neurocognitive tests were use as the primary outcome measures, while visual analog scales measuring fatigue and subjective feelings were use as secondary outcomes.
It improves working memory.
A recent study has shown that a drug known as Modalert 200 can significantly improve episodic memory and working memory cognition in people with narcolepsy. The drug reduced excessive sleepiness in nCPAP-adherent adults in a double-blind, multicenter study. The drug significantly enhanced performance on the Pauli Test, a task that involves cognitive control. It also enhanced EEG and LORETA. Further, the drug significantly improved performance on the digit-symbol task.
In one study, researchers administered modafinil to 41 military recruits for eight weeks. They evaluated subjects’ performance on cognitive tests such as the Trails Part B and RT tests. In another study, modafinil significantly improved performance in the N-back task, which tests working memory and episodic memory. In addition, the drug improved accuracy in a study of emergency department physicians who had worked through the night. The researchers found that patients treated with the drug improved their accuracy by 9% compared to the placebo group.
It improves attention.
Recent studies indicate that modafinil improves episodic memory and cognitive function in patients with Alzheimer’s disease. In a proof-of-concept study, the drug significantly improved patients’ working memory and episodic memory. However, this improvement was not accompanied by improvements in motor activity and motivation. This study also suggests that the use of modafinil can prevent cognitive impairment, a major issue in patients with Alzheimer’s disease.
The study included a placebo-controlled, double-blind design. Each participant completed the same assessment at the same time. Participants were also give fatigue severity scales and anxiety ratings. They also underwent a MADRS test to assess their cognitive function. The results of the study were publish in a peer-reviewed journal. The study’s limitations include a limited number of methodological issues, but the findings are compelling enough to warrant further investigation.
It improves response inhibition.
The effects of modafinil on episodic memory and working-memory cognition were study in a study conducted at the University of Cambridge. A total of 60 patients with remit depression were include. The patients’ baseline cognitive functions were assess using the Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery. which includes tests on working memory, attention, and planning. Participants were then randomly assigne to receive either placebo or modafinil 200 mg per day, given 2 hours prior to repeating cognitive assessments.
Although modafinil is generally well tolerate by patients, there are certain precautions that should be considere. The study was conduct on older patients, age 50–67 years. The study may have been biassed by age-relate decline in the participants, and the results may not be applicable to older adults. The findings suggest that modafinil could affect neurochemical systems unrelated to cognitive dysfunction.
It improves digit span.
Researchers from the University of Florida in Jacksonville have conducted a proof-of-concept study to examine whether modafinil can improve cognitive performance in patients with Alzheimer’s disease. They found that modafinil significantly reduced errors in a memory task that involved finding a location within a pattern made up of increasing boxes. Patients taking the drug made half as many errors as those on placebo.
Modafinil improved working memory performance at the hardest level, which was similar to the results from studies of healthy volunteers. Moreover, the effects of modafinil were only evident in the difficult SWM task, 12 boxes. Interestingly, the study’s findings are consistent with the results of a previous study, which showed that modafinil improved episodic memory and working memory cognition in patients with schizophrenia.