How does Modafinil affect the brain? Why does Armodafinil promote wakefulness? Why is Modafinil so good?
Well, scientists now know that Modafinil has positive neuro-protective and anti-oxidant effect on the brain.
While the exact nootropic mechanism of action for modafinil has yet to be definitively proven, many scientific studies have been honing in on what makes it so effective for focusing and awakening. One study conducted in 2007 by Paul Gerrard and Robert Malcolm suggests that the neuro-protective and anti-oxidant effects of modafinil, coupled with the drug’s ability to increase cortical creatine, could be the reason for it increasing vigilance and promoting wakefulness.
The article entitled Mechanisms of Modafinil: A Review of Current Research appeared in Neuropsychiatr Dis Treat. 2007 Jun; 3(3): 349–364. Here is the summary of the article:
In summary, the bulk of research into modafinil’s wake-promoting mechanism has focused mostly on possible extracellular activities of modafinil. We propose that more work be done on examining potential intracellular mechanisms of modafinil and finding a point of convergence of modafinil’s stimulant and neuroprotective effects. It is likely that modafinil both enhances cellular metabolism and reduces free-radicals in neurons. Reduction in brain oxidation or an increase in cortical creatine could promote vigilance, and each effect can increase neurotransmitter release by reducing inhibitory KATP-channel activity. Thus, through any disruption in the positive feedback loop of increased free-radical production and reduced ATP production modafinil could potentially exert its neuroprotective and wake-promoting effects.
The full study can be viewed at this link: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2654794/.