Placebo-Controlled Trial of Amantadine for Severe Traumatic Brain Injury

  • Giacino J
  • Whyte J
  • Bagiella E
 et al. 
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Abstract

Background Amantadine hydrochloride is one of the most commonly prescribed medications for patients with prolonged disorders of consciousness after traumatic brain injury. Preliminary studies have suggested that amantadine may promote functional recovery. Methods We enrolled 184 patients who were in a vegetative or minimally conscious state 4 to 16 weeks after traumatic brain injury and who were receiving inpatient rehabilitation. Patients were randomly assigned to receive amantadine or placebo for 4 weeks and were followed for 2 weeks after the treatment was discontinued. The rate of functional recovery on the Disability Rating Scale (DRS; range, 0 to 29, with higher scores indicating greater disability) was compared over the 4 weeks of treatment (primary outcome) and during the 2-week washout period with the use of mixed-effects regression models. Results During the 4-week treatment period, recovery was significantly faster in the amantadine group than in the placebo group, as measured by the DRS score ...

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Authors

  • Joseph T. Giacino

  • John Whyte

  • Emilia Bagiella

  • Kathleen Kalmar

  • Nancy Childs

  • Allen Khademi

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