A team of medical researchers from the Stanford University School of Medicine have discovered some unusual properties in a drug used to cure insomnia. According to their study, a sleeping pill may help stroke patients recover much faster.
The team came to this staggering conclusion after performing several tests on lab-grown mice. According to the study, which was published in the Brain Journal, a sleeping pill called Zolpidem or Ambien has shown great results in helping mice recover from severe brain strokes.
The experiment took place over the course of several days, each of them being a crucial step in understanding what an ischemic stroke entails and what therapies we can use in order to facilitate the patient’s recovery.
According to the journal of the research endeavor, in the first day, the team of scientists anesthetized the mice using an isoflurane solution. All mice used for this novel experiment were to weeks old.
The anesthesia held and not a death was registered among the mice. Also, the researchers decided to tag all the mice with a 2 percent solution of triphenyl tetrazolium chloride. The same procedure was again done in the 7th and 28th days of the experimentation period.
The medical researchers also used a heparinized phosphate-buffered saline and paraformaldehyde. All of these solutions were employed in order to stain the studied tissue sample.
After several days have passed, the team decided to put the little rodents under the microscope. But it wasn’t actually a microscope, but rather a highly-advanced tomography technique called array tomography.
With array tomography, the team can observe molecular slices, which came in handy, as the next step of the experiment implies the study of the GABA signaling pathway.
GABA or Gamma-Aminobutyric acid is a neurotransmitter capable of mediating the brain’s electrical signals. The team used this aspect and the array tomography technique in order to what chances inside an ischemic rat’s brain.
By using low doses of Ambien, the medical researchers were capable of cutting in half the recovery time, proving that the mere sleeping pill can actually cure more than insomnia.
Although the initial results seem promising enough, the team agrees that more research is needed before they can use the drug on human patients. Meanwhile, the team prepares a new batch in order to try and duplicate their initial result to if the drug is effective or not against ischemic strokes.
There’s hope out there for all those suffering from the crippling effects of a head stroke because recent research has determined that a sleeping pill can help stroke patients.