Incidence of Clinically Significant Responses to Zolpidem among Patients with Disorders of Consciousness

This study, ending in the publication noted, with one of the authors being On With Life’s Director of Neuropsychology, Psychology, and Clinical Counseling Services and Research Coordinator Dr. Demarest, involved serial study and assessment of 6 On With Life human subjects/persons served. They followed two research conditions:  (1) Administration of zolpidem (Ambien), a sleep-inducing medication, or (2) Placebo administration.  Zolpidem has shown a paradoxical effect in a portion of individuals who have diagnosed with a Disorder of Consciousness, and we have had one positive responder in the past at On With Life.  This study was part of a national effort through the sponsoring sites noted to research in a controlled way unlike previous research the effects of the zolpidem on restoration of responsiveness/consciousness.  The Coma Recovery Scale – Revised (CRS-R) was the primary assessment tool utilized.  All clinical assessments were completed by Dr. Demarest.

Primary Investigator: John Whyte, M.D., Ph.D.
Sponsoring Sites: Moss Rehabilitation Research Institute, Albert Einstein Healthcare Network
Publication Associated with Research: Zolpidem and Restoration of Consciousness (2014).  Whyte, J., Rajan, R., Rosenbaum, A., Katz, D., Kalmar, K., Seel, R., Greenwald, B., Zafonte, R., Demarest, D., Brunner, R., & Kaelin, D.  American 
Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 93, 101-114.