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How does modaifnil work in the brain - Essay Example

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Modafinil [Institution] Modafinil Modafinil is a eugeroic that has been accepted by the FDA in 1998 as a treatment for numerous disorders such as shift work sleep disorders, enhanced daytime sleepiness and shift work sleep disorder (Saletu &Saletu-Zyhlarz, 2013, 231)…
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How does modaifnil work in the brain
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Download file to see previous pages Side effects that are common in CNS stimulants but are not observed in Modafinil users include arterial hypertension and tachycardia. The absence of these effects has been widely attributed to the drug’s mechanism of action, though the exact principles of this yet to be established. The paper will focus on the positive effects of the drug and its pharmacokinetics on neural activity. There have been several theories formulated on the mechanism of neurostimuation by Modafinil. Among these include the histamine effect and the increment of the neurotransmitter dopamine by inhibiting its uptake therefore leaving sufficient amounts for transmission of neurosynaptic impulses. However, theories have suggested that the involvement of dopamine in this action is minimal; hence the different side effects (Saletu &Saletu-Zyhlarz, 2013, 231). The drug is also assumed to increase the availability of other neurotransmitters such as norepinephrine. These mechanisms will be explained in detail in the following section. Among the numerous theories that have been formulated, one that is most indicative from the author’s research findings is the theory suggesting interaction and activity of Reticular Activating System neurons in the rhombencephalon with Modanifil (Rasetti et al., 2010, 2101-2109). These neurons have been found to be responsible for sustaining arousal levels in humans. The drug has a different impact on the RAS than other neurostimulators such as amphetamine and methylphenitade. Researchers have stated that effects of this drug on the above mentioned structures involve glutamate, hypocretin, ?-aminobutyric acid, norepinephrine, epinephrine, histamine and dopamine (Rasetti et al., 2010, 2101-2109). Modafinil has been found to increase the synthesis and release of norepinephrin by altering activity in the locus coeruleus to low tonic and high phasic (Volkow et al., 2009, 1148-1154). The drug possesses an agonistic effect on alpha 1 adrenergic receptors; hence it has a direct stimulatory effect resulting in the inhibition of norepinephrine uptake (Saletu &Saletu-Zyhlarz, 2013, 231). Therefore, this neurotransmitter is increased and has positive impacts on several centers of the brain promoting wakefulness. Some of the effects that occur as a result of increased norepinephrine include increased memory, cerebral plasticity and learning and attention. It also stimulates the Autonomic nervous system, particularly the sympathetic, and increases heart rate and blood pressure leading to enhanced levels of energy (Saletu &Saletu-Zyhlarz, 2013, 231). Another mechanism that has been suggested involves the elevation in histamine levels. This is due to the effect of Modafinil on receptors of neurons containing peptides which are known as orexins. Specifically these receptors are known as orexin 1 and 2 (Rasetti et al., 2010, 2101-2109). These neurons radiate to different parts of the cerebral cortex, and have been found to also influence centers of involved in sustaining arousal levels and wakefulness. These neurons have also been found to increase the level of neurotransmitters such as noradrenalin and dopamine in the above mentioned areas (Volkow et al., 2009, 1148-1154). The involvement of dopamine in the effects of Modafinil will be explained further in the paper. The above mentioned orexin neurons activated by Modafinil also affect and ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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