Zolpidem and patients in PVS. This is... honestly, jaw-dropping, as far as I'm concerned. Although considering Ambien (zolpidem) has some crazy side effects including sleep-walking, sleep-driving... basically, sleep-life-ing, well, it isn't totally out of the blue I guess? Somehow?

Basically, in some patients in persistent vegetative state or with other brain injuries, zolpidem that was administered for comfort has actually caused them to wake up. Even if for only brief periods of time, it's absolutely amazing that it's working at all.

Of course, it leads to some thorny ethical questions, but then, I don't think we can regret past incidences because the knowledge simply wasn't there to change anything. And according to the article, it's a total accidental finding and only works in about 60% of patients so far, although that's 60% of patients who were thought to be irreversible in whatever state they were in- not in that state anymore.

I'm so, so excited for further trials and to see the results come in.

April 2017

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