The Greater Charitable Foundation is again supporting the work of the HMRI Stroke Research Team as they undertake a Phase 3 clinical trial of ‘modafinil therapy’ in stroke survivors to assist in alleviating post-stroke fatigue and improving post-stroke quality of life.


One in 5 Australians will experience a stroke in their lifetime and 50% of people who have suffered a stroke experience severe and debilitating fatigue. Fatigue has been shown to be a predictor of patients needing help in the activities of simple daily living, and is consequentially associated with a poor quality of life, poor mood and a reduced feeling of self-worth. Current therapies to assist patients to manage post-stroke fatigue generally involve lifestyle changes or physical activity, which have very limited evidence of success.


Modafinil is an existing drug currently used safely in conditions, such as Multiple Sclerosis and narcolepsy, to promote wakefulness by stimulating pathways in the brain to increase the release of neuro transmitters. The team have recently concluded a phase 2 clinical trial testing whether modafinil could treat post-stroke fatigue with results from this trial representing a major medical breakthrough. This funding will now support a phase 3 clinical trial testing of Modafinal in a larger number of people, in order to provide the evidence required to change clinical practice.

HMRI Research Impact

This trial, the first of its kind, has demonstrated that post-stroke fatigue is significantly reduced after 6 weeks of modafinil therapy.

Patients also reported a significant improvement in their quality of life through improvements in their energy, mobility and thinking. Reduced fatigue also resulted in one-quarter of our study participants seeking to return to work.

Research Testimonial

Stoke survivor who participated in the trial

“I just had energy, absolute energy. I started doing work from home then began negotiating with my employer to return to work. I could control my own day, rather than having fatigue control it.”

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