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Is Modafinil a Placebo? PowerPoint PPT Presentation


One of the most common objections about Modafinil is that the effect experienced by those who take it is due to the placebo effect. If you haven't heard of it before, the placebo effect basically means that the benefits experienced from taking a particular treatment, are due to the belief that it will produce results, rather than the effects of any active substance.

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Is Modafinil a Placebo?

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Is modafinil a placebo

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Mo od da af fin inil il a a P Pl la ac ce eb bo o? ?

One of the most common objections about Modafinil is that the effect experienced by those who

take it is due to the placebo effect. If you haven't heard of it before, the placebo effect basically

means that the benefits experienced from taking a particular treatment, are due to the belief that

it will produce results, rather than the effects of any active substance.

Keep in mind that most people who claim that Modafinil is merely placebo haven't actually

looked into the significant amount of research that exists about this nootropic. Unfortunately,

Modafinil is often unfairly lumped with other so-called "smart drugs" produced by supplements

companies that have far less scientific basis in producing improved cognitive performance.

That said, it's important not to dismiss the idea of the placebo effect. The placebo effect can be

extremely powerful. Numerous studies attest to the power of placebo. For example, in a recent

study published in Neurology Journal, Parkinson’s patients showed visible improvement in

symptoms such as muscle tremors and stiffness, when given what they were told was an

expensive medication. The “medication” was in fact simple saline. But, the idea that it was high-

priced was enough to affect the symptoms of their neurodegenerative diseases.

Before you take any nootropic you want to be sure how much of the results you experience are

due to your belief in the nootropic, and how much are the result of active substances. Let’s take

a look at some of the evidence that Modafinil goes beyond mere placebo.

Every Modafinil Research Paper between 1990 And 2014 Reviewed

Perhaps the most compelling evidence that Modafinil offers far more than placebo benefits is a

comprehensive study recently published in the peer reviewed European Neuropharmacology

Journal. Researchers from Harvard Medical School and the University of Oxford looked at every

research paper from between January 1990 and December 2014.What they found was that

studies overwhelmingly showed that Modafinil did in fact provide cognitive benefits to

participants in these studies. There are some caveats to this. Modafinil didn’t assist with all

cognitive tasks. Interestingly the effects of Modafinil were generally in proportion to the

complexity of the task. The more complex a task participants were asked to complete, the more

Modafinil helped.


Is modafinil a placebo

Why the Myth ofModafinilas A “Placebo”?

The study in Neuropharmacology suggests one reason for the myth that Modafinil is a placebo.

The benefits of Modafinil were largely found in tests which required the participants to complete

complex tasks. Many of the early studies of Modafinil in non-sleep deprived subjects required

the participants to complete relatively simple tasks. As a consequence the benefits of Modafinil

were less likely to show up in testing. Based on these early studies it might very well have

seemed as if Modafinil was nothing more than placebo. Over time researchers have become

better at implementing tasks which require higher levels of cognitive function. These studies

have more clearly shown that Modafinil really does impact the ability to solve complex tasks.

The power of placebo is very real. And so if believing in Modafinil helps you enjoy better results,

then this is probably all to the good. But, the fact is that Modafinil’s effectiveness in improving

cognitive performance goes beyond mere placebo. Peer reviewed, placebo controlled studies

have shown on numerous occasions that Modafinil provides real benefits for completing

complex tasks, boosting productivity and motivation.


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