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Brain Inj. 2015 Jun 17:1-6. [Epub ahead of print]

Effects of low-dose milnacipran on event-related potentials and neuropsychological tests in persons with traumatic brain injury: A preliminary study.

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1
Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Occupational and Environmental Health , Kitakyushu , Japan.

Abstract

INTRODUCTION:

Psychostimulants are among the most commonly used pharmacological agents for countering cognitive dysfunction and/or enhancing rehabilitation in persons with brain injury. It was postulated that milnacipran, a serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor, would be effective against cognitive dysfunction in non-depressed persons with brain injury.

METHODS:

Eighteen patients were recruited with at least moderate disability more than 4 months after a traumatic brain injury (TBI) and they were randomized to an 8-week, placebo-controlled, double-blind trial. Cognitive dysfunction was assessed at baseline with the Trail Making Test, the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-Revised (WAIS-R), the Wechsler Memory Scale-Revised (WMS-R) and measurement of event-related potentials (ERPs) both before randomization and after an 8-week administration of milnacipran or placebo.

RESULTS:

N2 and P3 latencies in the milnacipran group were significantly shortened by the intervention. Moreover, the Verbal Intelligence Quotient and Full Intelligence Quotient scores of the WAIS-R and the delayed recall score of the WMS-R were significantly higher than baseline after milnacipran intervention.

CONCLUSION:

Milnacipran administration improved ERP measures of attention and information processing in non-depressed persons with brain injury and also improved scores on three sub-scales of standard neuropsychological tests of cognitive dysfunction. Therefore, this intervention merits validation by additional, larger studies.

KEYWORDS:

Cognition; event-related potential; milnacipran; neuropsychological test; trauasatic brain injury

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