Modafinil: A Molecule of Military Interest
INSTITUT DE MEDECINE AEROSPATIALE DU SERVICE DE SANTE DES ARMEES CEDEX (FRANCE) DEPT OF PHYSIOLOGY
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Modafinil ModiodalR is a synthetic molecule prescribed for the treatment of narcolepsy and idiopathic hypersomnia. It could be used by aimed forces for sustained or continuous operations. The wakening effect is potent modafinil allows healthy volunteers to stay awake and efficient for more than 60 hours, without side-effects. The mechanism of action of modafinil is complex, involving the adrenergic system central alpha 1 -postsynaptic receptors- tors, associated with serotoninergic, GABAergic and probably dopaminergic systems. Moreover, the implication of excitatory amino acids was demonstrated. The anterior hypothalamic nucleus could be the main and specific target for modafinil. It could induce wakefulness by different mechanisms, as compared with other classical vigilance enhancing drugs such as amphetamines. A neuroprotective effect against neurotoxic organophosphate agents was recently discovered.
- Anatomy and Physiology