A team of medical doctors, nutritionists, and psychiatrists from the Institute of Original Medicine, Center for Natural Sciences in Sacramento, conducted an extensive study recently on effects of nootropic drugs on excessive sleepiness and other sleep cycle disorders due to narcolepsy and related maladies.
The tested volunteers were divided into five groups:
- The first group was comprised of people diagnosed with narcolepsy and other sleep disorders, to whom nootropic drugs were given by medial doctors on a regular basis - either Modafinil or Armodafinil;
- The second group was comprised of people diagnosed with narcolepsy and other sleep disorders, but who did not take nootropics or any other drug;
- The third group was comprised of people diagnosed with narcolepsy and other sleep disorders, who did not take any other drug, but were given a placebo;
- The fourth group was comprised of healthy individuals - students who used nootropic drugs without a prescription;
- And the fifth group was comprised of healthy individuals who did not take nootropics or any other drug, but were only told to go to sleep late at night.
So, three of those groups were people suffering from either narcolepsy or work shift disorder, while the two other groups were healthy individuals, with only one of them taking nootropics.
The purpose of the study
The researchers wanted to find out to what extent nootropic drugs, like Modafinil and Armodafinil, alleviate the symptoms of the said disorders, and at what point they may generate more severe side-effects, if any. Also, the researchers' goal was to determine whether some alternative method is efficient enough in treating sleep disorders, and whether there is a way of treating the root cause of the problem, not only the manifested symptoms.
The study was performed by interviewing and observing all five groups during a short period of time (two weeks). According to researchers, this period was long enough to reach conclusions of crucial importance regarding the effects of nootropics under different conditions, but it certainly was not long enough to examine the potential long-term side-effects of Modafinil and Armodafinil. No study conducted on these drugs ever lasted for more than 9 weeks.
The unpublished results of the study
In the first group, consisting mainly of narcoleptics taking Modafinil or its enhanced variant - Armodafinil, a solid improvement was noticed in the manifestation of all existing symptoms. The volunteers had fewer sleep attacks, felt much more energetic during the day, did not have much trouble sleeping, and their attention, concentration, and memory were greatly improved. Only minor side-effects were noticed in some of the tested subjects, such as headaches, nausea, and confusion.
In the second group of narcoleptics, who did not take any pharmacological therapy, results varied on an individual level. Some showed a reduction in the symptoms' manifestation, even more than in the first group, while other subjects' condition either stayed unchanged or only moderately worsened.
The placebo group showed almost identical results as the second group.
The fourth group - students who used nootropic drugs - experienced great improvements in all cognitive abilities - attentiveness, memory capacity, learning pace, focus duration, etc. Also, mental and emotional changes were clearly observable: A higher level of motivation, an exaggerated self-confidence and discipline, as well as a false feeling of superiority over others, lack of feelings towards previously preferred habits, etc.
However, the first signs of side-effects in this group appeared rather quickly: Headaches, loss of focus, sleeping trouble, confusion, agitation, nervousness, depression, and itching. A great probability of more severe side-effects if taking nootropics for a longer period is predicted based on this observation.
And finally, the fifth group, consisting of healthy individuals who were told to go to sleep late at night, also very quickly showed the first symptoms of sleep disorders: Tiredness and excessive sleepiness during the day, a complete lack of focus and attention, headaches, nervousness and agitation, and a mild form of depression in certain cases.
Conclusions based on the study
The conclusions reached by the researchers, led by Dr. M. Nikolic, were as follows:
- Modafinil and Armodafinil represent a successful therapy in reducing the symptoms of sleep disorders, but do not treat the cause of the problem, which is the main defect of nootropic therapy. For that reason, patients are forced to apply the therapy for long periods of time, which may cause drug addiction and unexpected long-term side-effects, since those were never tested in any study.
- The use of Modafinil and Armodafinil among healthy individuals for studying and working purpose, as in case of students, is not recommended due to evident side-effects appearing shortly after the first consummation. More severe mental disorders are very probable to occur after a long-term use.
- Since the symptoms of sleep disorders appeared in the fifth group of the tested subjects, who were otherwise healthy individuals, only lacking proper rest at night, it is concluded that an improper rest at night is the main cause of sleep disorders. Therefore, a proper rest at night and correction of certain other daily routines and diet should neutralize all symptoms and even remove the cause of the said disorders.