Head & Brain Injury Advice and Resources


New Use of Old Drug May Help Depression, Insomnia, and Fatigue Following TBI

Severe depression with insomnia and fatigue is relatively common following TBI. In patients with severe depression who were undergoing therapy and taking anti-depressants but showed only limited improvement, adding the wakefulness drug Modafinil produced a better outcome. This was especially true for the depressed patients in a group of 1,010 depressed patients for whom insomnia and fatigue were a major problem. This was the conclusion of researchers Barbara Sahakian from the University of Cambridge and Cynthia Fu from the University of East London. Their collaborative research study was published online in November 2013 in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry.

Patients who do not benefit from antidepressants alone, and show significant sleep and fatigue problems, should consider exploring the benefits of adding Modafinil with their psychiatrist. Modafinil appears to have another advantage. Some patients with severe bipolar or unipolar depression are put on anti-psychotic medications that cause significant weight gain. In the April 1, 2009 issue of Biological Psychiatry Dr. James Roerig published a study showing that adding Modafinil reduced the gain of body mass index in patients taking an anti-psychotic drug.