Ambien is typically associated with good sleep and insomnia treatment, but a recent study showed that the drug could also be used to potentially speed up recovery from a stroke. Victims of stroke usually take a long time to recover from the problem, and most do not recover completely. The possibility that Ambien could speed up this recovery process is promising indeed.
Ambien, which is the trade name of Zolpidem, is highly potent and generally prescribed for the short-term management of insomnia. Millions of people around the world who suffer from this problem could benefit from this drug if additional research proves that the drug could be used in stroke treatment. For now, let us see how Ambien could help speed up recovery from stroke.
Details of the study that demonstrated Ambien’s efficacy in stroke recovery
The severity of a stroke determines if the persons will recover completely or experience damaging conditions like partial paralysis, vertigo, loss of sensation, loss of vision, and such. Although treatments are available, they are only effective to some extent. A team of researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine decided to see if low doses of Ambien could help stroke victims in the recovery process.
Researchers used mice to artificially trigger stroke in them. Half the mice were administered with sub-sedation doses of Ambien while the remaining did not receive any of the sleep medication. The mice that received Ambien recovered faster in comparison to the non-medication mice. The success of the study was that the mice were able to recover motor coordination in just a few days versus a month. More in-depth studies are required in larger study groups before human trials can be safely conducted in stroke victims.
Stroke recovery and how Ambien can help
This pill works to induce sleep by enhancing the GABA receptors. The researchers based the study according to how the drug works. Since this drug binds with the GABA receptors, the drug helps nerve signaling between neurotransmitters. The study proved that Ambien was able to temporarily improve synaptic activity in the stroke-damaged brain area of mice. The increase in GABA signaling was a factor in improving the brain tissue recovery.
While Ambien may show positive results with regard to stroke recovery in mice, the drug is yet to be tested for efficacy in humans. The drug needs further testing before it is checked for efficiency in human trials. As yet, it is not recommended to use the drug in patients for stroke recovery. The sleep medication would have to be in the right dosage before it can be administered. For now, use Ambien for its insomnia-treating benefits to get the maximum therapeutic effects.