Does modafinil help with bipolar disorder ?

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Bipolar disorder is a mental disorder often with severe repercussions. Several misinformation and misconceptions revolving around BPD lead to delayed diagnosis of the condition. The diagnosis and treatment of the condition are also complicated and imprecise. However, the risks associated with BPD are rather high. About 6% of people with BPD die from suicide while 30-40% of people commit self-harm. It is rather crucial to create more dialogue about BPD so that people can recognize the symptoms and seek help without any delay. Subsequent evolution of treatment for BPD is also necessary.

The new Smart Drug, Modafinil has been acting wonders for several mental disorders. Despite being a CNS stimulant, it is quite safe to take. As a result, you can even buy Modafinil online without a prescription these days. In this blog, we will discuss everything doctors presently know about BPD and then consider if Modafinil has the potential to be effective in the treatment of the condition.

Bipolar Disorder

As the name suggests, bipolar disorder is a mental illness where two very polar mental disorders manifest simultaneously or in cyclic patterns. This means that two mental disorders with contrasting symptoms occur in patients with BPD. These conditions are depression and mania. While a majority of us are familiar with the term depression and identify it as a disorder, mania is often not perceived as an illness although it can be more dangerous than depression with elevated chances of suicide.

Bipolar Disorder

People with BPD face phases of depression and mania in a cyclic pattern. However, the intensity and frequency of each vary from person to person. For example, some people are majorly depressed with only sporadic bouts of mania, while others have phase changes on the dot, even though the intensity of the phases would vary. Based on this, bipolar disorder is often classified into three subtypes.

Subtypes Of Bipolar Disorder

  • Bipolar I Disorder - Type I BPD is a severe kind of BPD characterized by sporadic phases of major depression and extreme mania. The frequency or the time frame for which each phase lasts might vary and need not be timely.
  • Bipolar II - Type II BPD is a milder form of BPD where individuals still suffer from major depression however the intensity of the manic episodes is comparatively less. In this type of BPD, depressive phases often last longer than manic phases and so it is usually misdiagnosed as depression or MDD.
  • Cyclothymia - This form of BPD is more prevalent and it exhibits both mania and depression in a cyclic frequency with moderate intensity.

Symptoms Of Bipolar Disorder

Symptoms of BPD include cyclic bouts of depression and mania. A subtle form of mania, called hypomania also occurs. The signs of these conditions are listed as follows:

Symptoms of BPD

Causes Of Bipolar Disorder

Much like most mental disorders, the exact mechanism of BPD has not been properly elucidated yet. However, it is mainly considered to be a condition where the patients’ brains lose control over their emotions to a certain extent. In general, disruptions in the ventricular prefrontal cortex area of the brain, specifically the limbic system, are found in patients diagnosed with BPD. There are reasons to believe that BPD is genetic and people with immediate family members suffering from the condition run higher risks of themselves being affected by it. Three genes have also been identified with close association with BPD. Nevertheless, environmental factors like trauma also trigger BPD. Acquired neurological disruptions can often lead to bipolar disorder.

Treatment Of Bipolar Disorder

The treatment of BPD involves medication and psychotherapy. The following kinds of drug groups are used to treat BPD:

  • Mood Stabilisers - Lithium, carbamazepine, valproic acid, and lamotrigine.
  • Antidepressants - SSRIs, Aripiprazole
  • Antipsychotics - Olanzepine, Haloperidol, and Risperidone

Treatment of BPD with Modafinil - Does it Work?

As a CNS stimulant, modafinil primarily affects the body's dopamine system. The dopamine reuptake receptors in neurons can bind to the drug modafinil. Dopamine spends more time in neuronal synapses as a result, which increases its impact. Dopamine is a chemical messenger that induces sensations of concentration, fulfillment, pleasure, and happiness. This means that you will feel pleasant whenever dopamine is abundant in the neuronal synapses. Of course, the body also possesses a counterbalanced system to turn off these emotions. This occurs when tiny reuptake receptors on the neurons bind and actively remove dopamine from the neural synapse. These reuptake proteins are bound by modafinil, so they cannot bind to dopamine, thus eliminating it from the synapses.

So, can modafinil be helpful in treating BPD?

Many psychiatrists now recommend modafinil to patients with early-stage BPD, particularly young adults.
As we said above, managing depression and mania separately happens to be a common way of treating BPD. Depression has been successfully treated with modafinil, as has been reported in some contemporary studies. Most current medications work by extending serotonin's physiological effects. Despite being readily available, medications that influence dopamine levels are typically not administered to depressed individuals because of the high possibility of addiction. As dependency is not a risk with modafinil, it creates a space where dopamine may be discussed in relation to treating depression. Dopamine may be more beneficial than serotonin in treating depression, according to a number of recent studies.
Speaking of mania therapy, it may seem paradoxical to recommend a medication that might make manic patients feel euphoric. It's crucial to emphasize that modafinil only has a slight euphoric effect and is a DRI. The main impacts are motivation and, more significantly, attention. Manic people are prone to losing their attention, which is an issue that modafinil may absolutely assist with.

Final words

In this blog, we discussed the workings and occurrence of BPD in depth. We also discussed the mechanism by which Modafinil works in our bodies. From our discussions, it was apparent that using Modafinil for the treatment of BDP can open a new avenue in the treatment of the condition and yield major positive results.

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Does modafinil help with bipolar disorder ?

Bipolar disorder is a mental disorder often with severe repercussions. Several misinformation and misconceptions revolving around BPD lead

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