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Am J Phys Med Rehabil. 2008 Mar;87(3):229-31. doi: 10.1097/PHM.0b013e318161971b.

Increased arousal in a patient with anoxic brain injury after administration of zolpidem.

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  • 1Division of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Stanford University, California, USA.


A 35-yr-old man sustained an anoxic brain injury resulting from cardiac arrest, with subsequent extreme lethargy and lack of response to stimuli. The patient's lethargy was unresponsive to trials of several medications in attempts to increase arousal. Administration of twice-daily zolpidem 8 mos after injury resulted in a dramatic increase in the level of alertness, including improved speech and gait. When the patient was not able to receive zolpidem for a brief period, the patient's lethargy returned, and he became bedbound until the medication was resumed.

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