Could Ambien help patients with neurologic disorders? RxList reports on some new research.

A systematic review of 67 studies and a total of 551 patients showed a drug response rate of 18% or higher for the patients with movement disorders, such as Parkinson’s disease or dystonia. The response rate was 5% to 7% in those with disorders of consciousness (DOC).

These effects included improvements in minimally conscious state and, in some cases, patients trying to speak for the first time in years. Although the effects lasted an average of 1 to 4 hours before the patients returned to their baseline condition, they could be replicated with additional dosing.

The most commonly reported adverse event was sedation, but long-term use of the drug needs to be examined, note the investigators.