Functional connectivity measures the connectivity of the different brain regions. Brain activation can be seen non-invasively using functional MRI (fMRI). As a result, it has gained popularity as a technique for examining the connection between brain shape and function.
The investigation of brain illnesses is one of functional connectivity’s most significant applications. It is feasible to determine which brain regions are dysregulated in illnesses like Alzheimer’s disease, schizophrenia, and depression by analysing the relationships between various brain regions.
The study of cognitive neuroscience is another significant use of functional connectivity. It is feasible to comprehend how various cognitive functions are controlled by looking at how various brain regions interact with one another. For instance, research has indicated that the prefrontal cortex and the hippocampus are functionally connected, which is crucial for memory development.
Research investigating the effects of Modafinil on FC could be helpful in the development of the medicine as a treatment for cognitive issues. Studies have shown that modafinil can increase both cognitive performance and fluid intelligence in people who are otherwise healthy.
Modafinil is a medication that is used to treat sleep difficulties; however, it is also used off-label to treat mood disorders, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and cognitive impairments in schizophrenia. Studies have shown that using modafinil can result in positive shifts in a person’s attention, memory, and executive performance. When compared to other psychostimulants that are similar to amphetamines, modafinil can be viewed of as a cognitive enhancer that has a potentially lower risk of leading to addiction.
According to recent preclinical and human research, modafinil modulates neurotransmission in a number of regions of the brain. These regions include the hypothalamus, the hippocampus, the basal ganglia, and the prefrontal regions. Modafinil acts by binding to the dopamine transporter and inhibiting norepinephrine uptake, resulting in increased catecholamine levels and enhanced adrenergic neurotransmission. Dopamine, glutamine, histamine, and orexin levels in the brain can all be boosted by modafinil, but gamma-aminobutyric acid release can be suppressed.
Effects in Healthy Young Adults:
A recent study found that healthy young people who were given modafinil showed improvements in their fluid reasoning. This was noticed after the drug was administered. Following the administration of modafinil, elevated levels of FC in the putamen, left parahippocampus, and left posterior insula were discovered.
According to the findings, the drug does not cause a reorganisation of FC inside the sub-regions, but it does increase the overall connection of the region. In a recent investigation, it was observed that a single dose of modafinil does not influence the activity of the SN. Modafinil, on the other hand, was shown to activate it in methamphetamine users who were engaging in a task that required them to learn in reverse order.
Effects in Healthy Elderly Patients:
Modafinil has been shown in recent behavioural studies to improve cognitive performance in areas such as attention, memory, and executive functions, as well as boost alertness and reaction accuracy in healthy elderly people. In addition, it has been demonstrated that the medication can enhance hippocampus neurogenesis and synaptic development in conditions that are not clinical. Overall, this psychostimulant has been considered a CED because of its good side effect profile and decreased potential for causing addiction than similar drugs.
Recognizing how modafinil affects the functional connectivity between various nodes of the brain network has profited from study involved in neuroimaging methodologies. However, the majority of these functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) research explored the effects of CEDs connected to modafinil or dopamine in young subjects. On the other hand, there is not much information available regarding the activity of CEDs on the brains of older people.
Acute administration of modafinil in healthy older patients resulted in changes to the functional networks in those persons. The cerebellum was also found to be involved in the drug’s effects, as was discovered through functional connectivity research. In addition, the results of our FC suggest that modafinil has a significant influence on the resting activity of the cerebellum. Evidence suggests that cerebellar projections target several associative areas in the cortex, which suggests that the cerebellum is becoming increasingly important as a cognitive modulator.
The possible therapeutic implication of using modafinil in older patients is particularly imaginable when taking into consideration cognitive deficiencies that are caused by either ageing or Alzheimer’s disease (AD).
Effects on Patients with Post-Stroke Fatigue:
The mental and physical well-being of stroke survivors are significantly impacted by fatigue that develops after the event. A recent clinical experiment demonstrated that therapy with modafinil significantly reduced the amount of fatigue experienced by stroke survivors. The treatment of post-stroke fatigue is an ongoing difficulty, as pharmaceutical treatments (such as fluoxetine) have failed to show beneficial outcomes in the decrease of post-stroke fatigue. This makes the treatment of post-stroke fatigue a continuing challenge. In addition, non-pharmacological treatments such as physical therapy and cognitive behavioural therapy are available; however, it has not been determined whether or not these treatments are effective in treating the condition.
We have demonstrated that therapy with modafinil results in significant alterations in the resting-state functional connectivity (rsFC) networks of patients who have recovered from a stroke. This occurred at the same time as a reduction in the amount of weariness that was reported by the individual and an improvement in their quality of life.
The most recent study does have a few limitations and challenges, but overall, it’s a commendable work. One of the problems is that the pharmaceutical intervention we utilise only has a temporary effect, and continued usage of modafinil over a longer period of time may result in alternative ways of waking up. Another issue with the research is that it did not investigate how the effects of modafinil might be different if the drug were administered all at once. x
In this age of personalised medicine, we also need additional knowledge regarding how CED and modafinil work in respect to things like genetic background, psychological characteristics, and baseline levels of performance. Both of these medications are used to treat shift work sleep disorder (SWSD). All of these crucial characteristics can have a significant impact on the way a medicine works, but the effect it has on different people can vary greatly.