Wake up!

A bit off topic, but I’ve been thinking of a better way to rouse people from comas.

There were a few news stories a year or so ago about Zolpidem (hypnotic) being used to wake people from comas, with some success. Apparently, the technique hasn’t filtered to grass roots level, since there were also stories featuring families who had read of these successes having to prompt doctors (who hadn’t heard of it) to try it on their loved ones, also with many successes.

I used Zolpidem (and its close relative Zopiclone) nightly for a few years, and it has a unique characteristic, which I’m convinced is what makes it useful in these coma cases. When it wears off, usually after 3-4 hours, there’s no gradual wakening; it’s like a switch being thrown to the on position, and you immediately open your eyes, fully aware and wide awake. Its mechanism is via GABA, but I’d be surprised if that we were able to look at the deeper mechanism it wasn’t somehow disrupting blood flow to part of the brain which deals with consciousness (when people stay awake after taking it, it can also lead to hallucinations, which lends weight to this argument).

It’s the sudden end to its action which interests me, the sudden switch-on of consciousness. I imagine a very sudden and dramatic return to normal blood flow, which kick-starts consciousness, as it has been doing for some of those in a coma.

Imagine a garden hose. If you bend it, the flow is restricted, but when you straighten the bend, there’s a sudden spurt as the pressure is released, before the flow quickly returns to normal. It is, perhaps, this sudden spurt which rouses someone from a coma.

I was thinking that if it were possible to coincide the moment at which the effects of the zopiclone wear off with the administration of a systemic short-acting vasodilator like amyl nitrate, the resultant increase in boost effect may rouse those in even the deepest comas.






~ by funnyinthehead on June 1, 2013.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: