Stroke Recovery Better With Ambien: Study

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Dec 20, 2015 06:53 AM EST

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 9: Intensive Care patient Annie Lucas is comforted by her daughter Julie Austin in the Intensive Care Unit at the Royal North Shore Hospital March 9, 2007 in Sydney, Australia. Each year, around 148,000 people are admitted to Intensive Care Units (ICU's) across Australia and New Zealand with 86% of adults and 97% of children surviving after being admitted. ICU teams care for people who are critically ill with major illnesses, and injuries such as heart attack, pneumonia, stroke, traffic accidents, burns, trauma, organ transplant and complicated surgery. The Intensive Care Foundation will in April hold an appeal to raise money and community awareness of the work achieved in ICU's across Australasia. (Photo by Ian Waldie/Getty Images) (Photo : Ian Waldie/Getty Images)

This is proven and tested in mice. A sleeping pill is revealed to have properties that can help stroke patients recover.

In a study, a low dose of sleeping aid called Zolpidem, also known as Ambien, was given to mice. Zolpidem was used to cure insomnia.

The study aims to discover faster recovery therapeutics for ischaemic stroke. Researchers, who are from Stanford University School of Medicine, had successfully found the faster way after testing it on mice.

Published in the journal Brain, the study noted that it would usually take days, up to months to recover.

Long and certain methods were done to achieve the aim of the research study. Three to five mice were placed inside a cage under normal conditions. Mice, which were 10 to 30 weeks old, were anesthetized with isoflurane (2.5 percent in a mixture of 1 l/min of air and 0.2 l/min of oxygen). Body temperature was measured by rectal probe. No deaths were recorded.

Skin incisions were done to sham animals to expose the distal middle cerebral artery and Photothrombotic model. In the second day of the experiment, another anesthesia and cuts to the mice carried out.

They were also stained with 2 percent triphenyltetrazolium chloride (TTC). This was done again in days 7 and 28, only using heparinized phosphate-buffered saline and paraformaldehyde to spread in the tissue, and stained with Cresyl violet at day 28.

Array tomography was done after a series of stroke models. According to Smithlab, array tomography is a new proteometric method in imaging that gives out high-resolution of tissue molecular images. The Gamma-Aminobutyric acid (GABA) synapses were then analyzed.

GABA, as stated in The Brain, is a neurotransmitter that serves as the distributor of chemicals in the brain. The researchers had only included "stroke-injured animals with lesions with a medial edge within 3.0 ± 0.3 mm from the midline" for analysis. Whole-cell patch-clamp techniques were also used to analyze the synapses.

After a long process and further analysis, the researchers have concluded that GABA signaling using a low dose of Zolpidem can help stroke patients recover faster. According to them, Zolpidem enhances functional recovery in just four days.

While the results of the study are beneficial for stroke recovery, Science Daily said co-researcher Gary Steinberg suggests to make further studies in other laboratories before starting to use Ambien in stroke recovery.

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