modafinil_addiction - Published online 17 March 2009 |...

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Published online 17 March 2009 | Nature | doi:10.1038/news.2009.170 News Cognitive enhancement drug may also cause addiction Modafinil's effect on the brain suggests it could be addictive for some. Heidi Ledford A drug used to treat narcolepsy — and often taken to increase alertness and improve cognitive performance — may have the potential to become addictive, a small pilot study has shown. Brain-imaging studies performed on ten men before and after taking the drug, called modafinil (Provigil), showed that it boosts levels of a chemical called dopamine, which influences the brain's reward system 1 . Drugs of abuse, from tobacco to heroin, also impact dopamine levels, particularly in an area of the brain called the nucleus accumbens. In the new study, published on 17 March by the Journal of the American Medical Association, modafinil also increased dopamine in that region. The effect of cognitive-enhancement drugs on the brain is not well known.Getty It is an indirect measure of the propensity to trigger addiction, and patients rarely become dependent upon modafinil, notes Martha Farah, director of the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, who was not involved with the study. "However, we know that drug dependence is a result of drugs' effects on
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This note was uploaded on 09/14/2009 for the course MCDB 20 taught by Professor Cooper during the Summer '08 term at UCSB.

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modafinil_addiction - Published online 17 March 2009 |...

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