Lundorff, L.E., Jonsson, B.H., & Sjøgren, P. (2009). Modafinil for attentional and psychomotor dysfunction in advanced cancer: A double-blind randomised, cross-over trial. Palliative Medicine, 23, 731–738.doi:10.1177/0269216309106872
The study's primary aim was to assess the effectiveness of single-dose modafinil on cognitive function in patients with advanced cancer treated in palliative care settings. Its secondary aim was to assess the effectiveness of modafinil on other symptoms.
On day 1, patients were randomly assigned to receive either 200 mg of modafinil or an oral placebo. On day 4, each patient group was given the alternative treatment that was not dispensed on day 1.
The study took place in the palliative care department of Herning Hospital in Denmark.
The study was a double-blind, randomized, cross-over, single-dose trial.
Patients on the modafinil treatment group saw statistically significant improvements in psychomotor speed with the dominant hand (as measured by the FTT) and speed of processing (as measured by the TMT-B), as compared with the placebo group (p = 0.006). The modafinil treatment group also showed statistically significant improvements in depression and drowsiness as compared with the placebo group (p = 0.042).
The frequency and intensity of side effects were similar on both treatments, and no statistically significant differences were reported. However, four patients experienced disrupted sleep and vivid dreams after modafinil treatment.
Modafinil improved attention and psychomotor speed and diminished depression and drowsiness.