Amantadine, Apomorphine and Zolpidem in the Treatment of Disorders of Consciousness

Author(s): Olivia Gosseries, Vanessa Charland-Verville, Marie Thonnard, Olivier Bodart, Steven Laureys, Athena Demertzi

Journal Name: Current Pharmaceutical Design

Volume 20 , Issue 26 , 2014

Become EABM
Become Reviewer
Call for Editor


Survivors of severe brain injuries may end up in a state of ‘wakeful unresponsiveness’ or in a minimally conscious state. Pharmacological treatments of patients with disorders of consciousness aim to improve arousal levels and recovery of consciousness. We here provide a systematic overview of the therapeutic effects of amantadine, apomorphine and zolpidem in patients recovering from coma. Evidence from clinical trials using these commonly prescribed pharmacological agents suggests positive changes of the patients’ neurological status, leading sometimes to dramatic improvements. These findings are discussed in the context of current hypotheses of these agents’ therapeutic mechanisms on cerebral function. In order to improve our understanding of the underlying pathophysiological mechanisms of these drugs, we suggest combining sensitive and specific behavioral tools with neuroimaging and electrophysiological measures in large randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled experimental designs. We conclude that the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of amantadine, apomorphine and zolpidem need further exploration to determine which treatment would provide a better neurological outcome regarding the patient’s etiology, diagnosis, time since injury and overall condition.

Keywords: Amantadine, apomorphine, zolpidem, disorders of consciousness, vegetative state/unresponsive wakefulness syndrom, minimally conscious state, pharmacological treatments, mechanism of action.

Rights & PermissionsPrintExport Cite as

Article Details

Year: 2014
Page: [4167 - 4184]
Pages: 18
DOI: 10.2174/13816128113196660654
Price: $65

Article Metrics

PDF: 76