Approximately 40 percent of menopausal women experience sleep disruption, often in the form of difficulty with sleep initiation and frequent nighttime awakenings. The study is the first to show sustained benefits in sleep quality from gabapentin, which Rochester researchers already have demonstrated alleviates hot flashes.
"Gabapentin improves sleep quality but does not have the potential dependency problems of some other sleep medications and does not involve the use of hormone replacement therapy," said Michael E. Yurcheshen, M.D., assistant professor of Neurology and the lead author of the article.
"It has minimal side effects and it is a generic drug," said Yurcheshen, who is based at the Strong Sleep Disorders Center. "That makes it a very attractive treatment for these problems in this patient population."
For the current study, researchers used data from a previously published randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of gabapentin in 59 postmenopausal women who experienced seven to 20 hot flashes daily. The subjects took either 300 milligrams of gabapentin three times a day or a placebo.
The research used a factor analysis of the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index, a well-known and validated questionnaire, to evaluate sleep. The results showed overall improvement in the sleep quality score, even after 12 weeks of treatment.
Gabapentin's impact on the sleep quality factor in menopausal women may reflect improvement in hot flashes, stabilization of sleep architecture, or a decrease in the amount of time to transition from wakefulness to sleep, the researchers wrote. It is also possible that gabapentin improved sleep quality by addressing underlying sleep pathology, such as restless legs syndrome.
"We really are not sure which mechanism is responsible, but this study suggests that it does work to improve sleep quality," Yurcheshen said.
The gabapentin research reported in the Journal of Women's Health is the most recent in a series of Rochester studies into relief of hot flashes. In 2000, a Medical Center neurologist treating a menopausal woman for migraines first observed that the seizure medication seemed to cure her hot flashes. Since then, a clinical trial confirmed those results in women suffering from hot flashes due to menopause. Another Rochester study showed that gabapentin provides control of hot flashes in women with breast cancer who suffer hot flashes as a result of their cancer treatment. A third study found that gabapentin is as effective in reducing the number of hot flashes as the hormone estrogen, which used to be the gold standard treatment for menopause symptoms.
A co-author on the paper, Thomas Guttuso Jr., M.D., is listed as the inventor on a patent owned by the University of Rochester for the use of gabapentin in the treatment of hot flashes. The patent has been licensed to three companies. Guttuso is a former Medical Center neurologist who is now on the faculty at the State University of New York at Buffalo.
In addition to Yurcheshen and Guttuso, the authors of the article include Michael P. McDermott, Ph.D., associate professor of Biostatistics at the Medical Center, Robert G. Holloway, M.D., M.P.H., professor of Neurology at the Medical Center, and Michael Perlis, Ph.D., associate professor of Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania.
Michael Wentzel | EurekAlert!
NIST scientists discover how to switch liver cancer cell growth from 2-D to 3-D structures
17.11.2017 | National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
High speed video recording precisely measures blood cell velocity
15.11.2017 | ITMO University
The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.
Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...
Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.
That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...
Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.
During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....
The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.
Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...
Pillared graphene would transfer heat better if the theoretical material had a few asymmetric junctions that caused wrinkles, according to Rice University...
15.11.2017 | Event News
15.11.2017 | Event News
30.10.2017 | Event News
17.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
17.11.2017 | Health and Medicine
17.11.2017 | Studies and Analyses