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Neuroprotective effects of modafinil in a marmoset Parkinson model:
behavioral and neurochemical aspects
van Vliet SA, Vanwersch RA, Jongsma MJ,
van der Gugten J, Olivier B, Philippens IH.
aDepartment of Diagnosis and Therapy,
TNO Defence, Security and Safety, Rijswijk
bDepartment of Psychopharmacology,
Utrecht Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Rudolf Magnus Institute of Neurosciences,
Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands.
Behav Pharmacol. 2006 Sep;17(5-6):453-62.


The vigilance-enhancing agent modafinil has neuroprotective properties: it prevents striatal ischemic injury, nigrostriatal pathway deterioration after partial transsection and intoxication with 1-methyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine. The present study determines the protective effects of modafinil in the marmoset 1-methyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine Parkinson model on behavior and on monoamine levels. Twelve marmoset monkeys were treated with a total dose of 6 mg/kg 1-methyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine. Simultaneously, six animals received a daily oral dose of Modalert (100 mg/kg) and six animals received vehicle for 27 days. Behavior was observed daily and the locomotor activity, hand-eye coordination, small fast movements, anxiety-related behavior and startle response of the animals were tested twice a week for 3 weeks. Modafinil largely prevented the 1-methyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine-induced change in observed behavior, locomotor activity, hand-eye coordination and small fast movements, whereas the vehicle could not prevent the devastating effects of 1-methyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine. Dopamine levels in the striatum of the vehicle+1-methyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine-treated animals were reduced to 5% of control levels, whereas the dopamine levels of the modafinil+1-methyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine-treated animals were reduced to 41% of control levels. The present data suggest that modafinil prevents decrease of movement-related behavior and dopamine levels after 1-methyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine intoxication and can be an efficaceous pharmacological intervention in the treatment of Parkinson's disease.