Has modafinil ever been used to treat dementia?

My mother has vascular dementia, and cannot take the drug that that was prescribed for makes her sick to her stomach, so she can’t use it. I think that the drug was prescribed was Aricept, but I’m not sure.

I just read some information in the mind, mood, and memory newsletter that modafinil has been used to improve cognitive performance. In a study involving 39 chess players, researchers in Germany and Sweden measured the effects of taking modafinil on performance. While taking modafinil, the performance of the chess players improved by 5%. That’s not a lot, but it is a statistically significant result, and this is the first research to show cognitive improvement from a brain enhancing drug in people who were already performing at a high level. Unfortunately , the article also said that modafinil has many side effects including headache, nausea, insomnia, loss of appetite, hypertension, and heart palpitations. In the past, my mother has had atrial fibrillation, so I guess trying modafinil would not be a good idea, but has anyone ever used modafinil to treat someone with Alzheimer’s, or vascular dementia?

Thanks for the question @MikeLandau! I wonder if @Chris_Schaffer or @nn62 would be able to answer this question, but that seems pretty specific… might need to look into the research around the subject!

At first glance, it seems like it has in fact been used to reduce some of the symptoms of Alzheimer’s, for example, here: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22687392

But as all drugs on the market at the moment, they can only reduce the symptoms, and often, as you say, with a range of additional side effects …

Not too germane to this particular topic, but having read that diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinsons have been linked to prions / protein folding, I was tempted to ask an uninformed question about that in this forum. Instead, I checked out your link to the “BrightFocus Alzheimer’s toolkit.” Lo and behold, under important breakthroughs in Alzheimer’s research, I was able to review some work directly addressing this. I just wanted to put in a plug for this and other such useful links you’ve provided us. I definitely need to take more time to explore them myself. Thanks,
Mike C.

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