Case Rpt- “Dramatic improvement” with Ambien CR

I don’t get too excited about a report on a single case but you be the judge!

Journal of Clinical Neuroscience. 2010 Jan 11. [Epub ahead of print]

The use of zolpidem in the treatment of progressive supranuclear palsy.

Cotter C, Armytage T, Crimmins D.
Department of Neurology, Northern Sydney Central Coast Health, Gosford Hospital, Gosford, New South Wales, Australia.

Progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) is a debilitating progressive neurodegenerative disorder for which there is no proven pharmacological treatment.

Zolpidem immediate release formulation has been reported to show short-term improvements in motor function and voluntary saccadic eye movements, but the benefits were not sustained.

A 61-year-old man with a 4-year history of PSP was observed over 6 months to have sustained improvement in motor function, pseudobulbar symptoms and ocular motility 2 months after commencing zolpidem controlled release (CR) formulation. He was admitted to hospital and a detailed neurological and functional assessment recorded on video after withdrawal of zolpidem CR, and again following re-introduction of the medication. Within 1 hour of administration of 25mg zolpidem CR the patient had a dramatic improvement in fine motor skills, dexterity, speed and fluidity of movement, facial and vocal expression, oropharyngeal coordination and function and pursuit, and voluntary saccadic eye movements. These improvements were observed for 4 hours to 5 hours post-dose and were reproducible on subsequent withdrawal and re-challenging. We found that zolpidem CR, a gamma aminobutryic acid (GABA)ergic agonist of the benzodiazepine type 1 receptor, caused sustained improvement in motor and ocular symptoms in a patient with PSP over 6 months.

Further studies are needed to determine the potential roles of GABA neurotransmission in PSP.

PubMed ID#: 20071178

[zolpidem = Ambien; zolpidem CR = Ambien CR]