Investigating Zolpidem for Treatment of Various Neurological Conditions




Stewart, Carson

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While Neural Engineering has had breakthrough technologies including cochlear implants for hearing restoration and deep brain stimulation for a range of diseases including Parkinson’s, engineering approaches to several neurological disorders following traumatic brain injury (TBI) have been largely unsuccessful [1]. The Brain is extraordinarily complex, and despite decades of research, remains poorly understood [1][3]. The pharmaceutical Zolpidem originally prescribed for sleep disorders, has gained attention due to its ability to paradoxically increase alertness in patients with TBI, temporarily reduce the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, and even transiently induce brief periods of consciousness in comatose patients. Zolpidem has been shown to manifest dramatic differences in mechanistic activity between healthy patients and patients with disorders of consciousness (DOC) or TBI. Only small subsets of patients with TBI’s respond to this form of pharmaceutical intervention. It is a lack of understanding of this phenomenon that is causing schisms between researching its causal mechanisms of neural activity and leveraging neural engineering to treat targeted patients [2][3]. Due to EEG, MEG, and MRI comparisons, advances for neuromodulation using Zolpidem have been made to target specific disorders and TBI’s. This review hopes to examine how Zolpidem is being investigated using neuromodulation to explain the vast differences in patient recovery following severe brain injuries and diseases.



Zolpidem, Traumatic brain injury