Navigation Links
Zolpidem Might Assist Patients With Akinetic Mutism

A new study finds that zolpidem, temporarily improved brain function in a patient suffering from akinetic mutism. The patient was able to communicate// , walk, and eat without assistance after receiving the drug for a bout of insomnia.

Zolpidem is a drug normally used to treat insomnia. Akinetic mutism is a condition in which the person is alert but cannot speak or move.

The study was published in the March 2007 issue of Annals of Neurology (, the official journal of the American Neurological Association.

Led by Christine Brefel-Courbon, M.D., of the University Hospital in Toulouse, France, researchers conducted a study of a 48 year-old woman who developed akinetic mutism due to oxygen deprivation to her brain following an attempted suicide by hanging. The patient was totally dependent, unable to speak or walk, and was using a feeding tube for nourishment, although she was able to understand single words.

Two years after the suicide attempt, she was given zolpidem for a bout of insomnia; 20 minutes later, she was able to communicate to her family, eat by herself, and move. These effects lasted for up to three hours. After systematically withdrawing all of her medications one by one, it was concluded that the positive effect was due to zolpidem. "This phenomenon was so reproducible that caregivers used to give her up to three tablets each day without sleepiness as 'side effect,'" the authors state.

The researchers systematically assessed the effect of zolpidem on motor and cognitive function and explored its effect on brain activity using positron emission tomography (PET) scans. They administered motor tests such as finger tapping and walking, and language tests such as spontaneous speech, word repetition, and object naming. They also conducted brain imaging studies to assess brain metabolism and cognitive activation using PET scans. All of these were conducted with both zolpidem and a placebo in a randomized, double-blind study.

The results showed that after receiving zolpidem, the patient was able to stand up and walk, repeat words and sentences, read words, and name objects, although she was not able to speak spontaneously. Administration of the drug increased brain metabolism, and PET scans also showed improvement in cerebral areas involved in motivational processing.

Although previous studies have shown the positive effect of zolpidem on catatonic conditions, the authors state, "To our knowledge, this is the first study assessing the impact of zolpidem of post-anoxic brain injury using the modern methodological standards of clinical pharmacology."

The authors demonstrated increased brain activity in the frontal cortex, which is associated with higher cognitive performances, with zolpidem. They suggest that the mechanism may be due to an activation of neural circuits in the brain that control movement and verbal expression, but that the lesions that occurred due to oxygen deprivation may have been too severe to allow spontaneous speech. They conclude that single patient trials can be a logical approach to identifying potentially beneficial drugs, especially in the case of rare or orphan diseases.


Related medicine news :

1. Anemia Treatment for Cancer Patients Might Not be a Good Idea.
2. Tomatoes Might Inhibit the Development Of Prostate Cancer
3. Mad Cow Disease Might Be Linked to Blood Transfusions
4. Strategies That Might Lower Blood Pressure Questioned
5. Factors That Might Increase The Risk Of Schizophrenia
6. A Drug That Might Relieve Chronic Cough
7. Biochemical Markers Might Help Predict Heart Problems
8. Yoga Might Be Helpful For Cancer Patients
9. Healthcare Professionals Might Want To Rethink Their Dress Code
10. Embryonic Cells Might Prevent Parkinson’s Disease From Worsenin
11. Counting Calories Might Be The Ideal Way To Stay Healthy
Post Your Comments:

(Date:6/26/2016)... , ... June 26, 2016 , ... Brent Kasmer, a legally blind and certified personal ... personalized through a fitness app. The fitness app plans to fix the two major problems ... offer a one size fits all type program , They don’t eliminate all ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... The temporary closing of Bruton Memorial Library on June 21 ... brings up a new, often overlooked aspect of head lice: the parasite’s ability to live ... not a common occurrence, but a necessary one in the event that lice have simply ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... ... athletes and non-athletes recover from injury. Recently, he has implemented orthobiologic procedures as ... City area —Johnson is one of the first doctors to perform the treatment. ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Those who have experienced traumatic events ... turn to unhealthy avenues, such as drug or alcohol abuse, as a coping mechanism. ... tools for healthy coping following a traumatic event. , Trauma sufferers tend to feel ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Global law firm Greenberg Traurig, P.A. announced ... attorneys chosen by their peers for this recognition are considered among the top 2 ... received special honors as members of this year’s Legal Elite Hall of Fame: ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/26/2016)... LAS VEGAS , June 26, 2016 ... movement to value-based care operating models within the health ... that enable greater financial efficiency , Deloitte offers ... address the key business issues impacting efficient cost optimization: ... alignment , These services facilitate better outcomes and ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... CAMBRIDGE, Mass. , June 24, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... the Spaulding Rehabilitation Network,s Dean Center for ... of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, MIT Hacking Medicine, ... Center for Innovation, today announced the five finalists ... Hackathon for Lyme disease.  More than 100 scientists, ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Dehaier Medical Systems Ltd. (NASDAQ: DHRM ) ... medical devices and wearable sleep respiratory products in ... with Hongyuan Supply Chain Management Co., Ltd. (hereinafter referred ... to develop Dehaier,s new Internet medical technology business. ... Hongyuan Supply Chain,s sales platform to reach Dehaier,s dealers ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: