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Effect of zopiclone and temazepam on sleep EEG parameters, psychomotor and memory functions in healt

Effect of zopiclone and temazepam on sleep EEG parameters, psychomotor and memory functions in healt

  1. Calliope
    Psychopharmacology, 2000, Vol.147(4), pp.384-396

    Hemmeter, U. ; Müller, M. ; Bischof, R. ; Annen, B. ; Holsboer-Trachsler, E.

    Abstract
    Rationale: The increased prevalence of sleep disturbance in old age is accompanied by a higher prescription rate of hypnotics, predominantly benzodiazepines in the elderly. In young volunteers zopiclone exerts a beneficial effect on sleep continuity without suppression of SWS and REM sleep; psychomotor performance and vigilance seemed to be less impaired than under classical benzoediazepines. Objective: The present study investigates the effects of zopiclone on sleep EEG and cognitive performance in comparison to temazepam and placebo in the elderly population. Methods : Single oral doses of zopiclone (7.5 mg), temazepam (20 mg) and placebo were administered in a randomized double-blind, completely counterbalanced cross-over design to 12 healthy elderly men and women (65.9+3.6 years, range 60–70 years). On each of the 3 study nights a sleep EEG was registered from 10 p.m. to 6.30 a.m. and cognitive performance tests were applied at 8 p.m., 2 a.m. (when subjects were awake for 30 min), 7 a.m. and 9 a.m. Results: After zopiclone treatment, sleep continuity had significantly improved and sleep stage 4 was increased compared to temazepam and placebo. In addition, both active substances significantly reduced REM density. Neither active compound substantially altered psychomotor and memory performance. Conclusions: Zopiclone and temazepam can be considered as effective hypnotics in elderly subjects when administered in that dosage. The superiority of zopiclone on sleep architecture may be related to a more specific action of zopiclone at the GABA-A benzodiazepine receptor complex. The suppression of REM density by both compounds and their subtle effects on cognition may reflect a GABAergic mediated reduction of cholinergic neurotransmission.