Enhancing Operational Performance in Healthy Rested Soldiers With Pharmacological Stimulants

Overview

Considerable research has documented the optimization utility of stimulants in sleep deprived Soldiers and aviators, however, the research for enhancement purposes has demonstrated mixed results. One significant factor that may influence enhancement properties is general intelligence such that low performers exhibit stronger enhancement effects than high performers. The objective of this study is to determine whether stimulants (specifically, modafinil and Adderall) can enhance Soldier cognitive abilities and performance on military tasks. To do so, a within-subjects design will be employed using healthy, rested Soldiers and measuring performance on a set of basic cognitive assessments and operationally relevant tasks.

Study Type

  • Study Type: Interventional
  • Study Design
    • Allocation: Randomized
    • Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
    • Primary Purpose: Other
    • Masking: Double (Participant, Investigator)
  • Study Primary Completion Date: October 2019

Interventions

  • Drug: Modafinil 200mg
    • single 200 mg dose
  • Drug: mixed amphetamine salts
    • single 10 mg dose
  • Drug: Placebo
    • single oral-administration placebo tablet

Arms, Groups and Cohorts

  • Experimental: Modafinil 200mg
    • single, 200 mg dose of modafinil
  • Experimental: mixed amphetamine salts
    • single 10 mg dose of mixed amphetamine salts
  • Placebo Comparator: placebo
    • placebo

Clinical Trial Outcome Measures

Primary Measures

  • change from baseline in working memory performance
    • Time Frame: 2-hours post-dosing
    • Digit span task
  • change from baseline in selective attention performance
    • Time Frame: 2-hours post-dosing
    • Stroop test
  • change from baseline in sustained attention performance
    • Time Frame: 2-hours post-dosing
    • Rapid Visual Information Processing Task
  • change from baseline in executive function performance
    • Time Frame: 2-hours post-dosing
    • Digit symbol substitution task
  • change from baseline in marksmanship performance
    • Time Frame: 2-hours post-dosing
    • number of targets acquired on marksmanship trainer

Secondary Measures

  • change from baseline in impulsivity
    • Time Frame: 2-hours post-dosing
    • Stop signal task – response inhibition
  • change from baseline in impulsivity
    • Time Frame: 2-hours post-dosing
    • Continuous Performance test – rapid response initiation
  • change from baseline in risk-taking behavior
    • Time Frame: 2-hours post-dosing
    • Evaluation of Risks Scale; measures individual variability in risk assessment; three scores are produced (“need for control”, “self-confidence”, “risk/thrill seeking”), all scores range from 0 to 100 with higher scores indicating a higher degree of the construct (e.g., higher risk/thrill seeking scores indicate a greater degree of risk/thrill seeking)

Participating in This Clinical Trial

Inclusion Criteria

  • Must be at least 18 years old.
  • Must have normal hearing, vision or corrected to normal vision, and cognitive function as determined by self-report
  • Must have obtained at minimum 6 hours of sleep prior to all testing sessions, as assessed by actigraphy data and self-report. Should the actiwatch malfunction, reliance on self-report will suffice. If the subject does not meet this requirement, he will be asked to reschedule
  • Must have refrained from consumption of stimulants (including caffeine) and over the counter medications which may induce drowsiness for a minimum of 16 hours prior to each test session, and nicotine, 8 hours, prior to all testing sessions, assessed by self-report.

Exclusion Criteria

  • Currently taking medications which induce drowsiness, such as over-the-counter antihistamines. Any self-medication will be assessed through self-report.
  • No current medical conditions or medications affecting cognitive function or attention as determined by screening by study physician or medical practitioner
  • Current or recent use (as determined by study physician or medical practitioner) of medications that may interact with the test articles. Determined by self-report and exclusion at the discretion of the study physician or medical practitioner.
  • Any history of any attention deficit condition requiring medication. A history of any attention deficit condition with medication is disqualifying as the potential interactions with testing are unknown and would therefore produce a potential source of confounding or bias into the results of the study.
  • Any history of psychological/psychiatric disorder.
  • Any history of addiction or substance abuse as assessed through self-report.
  • Any history of metabolic disorder such as dysthyriodism.
  • Any history of significant cardiovascular disease or hypertension.
  • Any history of hepatic or renal disorder.
  • Females will be excluded given that the drugs administered could potentially negatively impact the very early stages of pregnancy.
  • Any ingestion of substances that may interact with the test articles or potentially skew the results within the last 16 hours prior to testing including over-the-counter medications, supplements, etc. (see attached list to be reviewed with subject).

Gender Eligibility: Male

Minimum Age: 18 Years

Maximum Age: 40 Years

Are Healthy Volunteers Accepted: Accepts Healthy Volunteers

Investigator Details

  • Lead Sponsor
    • United States Army Aeromedical Research Laboratory
  • Provider of Information About this Clinical Study
    • Principal Investigator: Amanda Kelley, Research Psychologist – United States Army Aeromedical Research Laboratory
  • Overall Contact(s)
    • Amanda M Kelley, PhD, 334-498-2456, amanda.m.kelley.civ@mail.mil

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