Effect of gabapentin on sleep and delta and theta EEG power in adult rats exposed to chronic intermittent ethanol vapor and protracted withdrawal during adolescence.Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2018 06; 235(6):1783-1791.P
Adolescents and young adults with alcohol problems may also have sleep difficulties. However, whether these sleep problems are a result of a history of drinking or arise due to other comorbid disorders is difficult to disentangle in human studies. Additionally, the mechanisms underlying adolescent alcohol-induced sleep disturbances and potential targets for therapy also remain under-investigated. Recent clinical trials have demonstrated that the anticonvulsant and analgesic drug gabapentin may have therapeutic value in normalizing sleep quality in adult recovering alcoholics, yet its potential for the treatment of adolescent sleep disturbances has not been investigated.
This study sought to evaluate the effects of a history of 5 weeks of chronic intermittent ethanol vapor exposure, administered during adolescence (AIE), on EEG sleep, in young adult rats (n = 29). The ability of two doses of gabapentin (30, 120 mg/kg) to modify sleep and slow wave activity were also investigated in these young adult rats exposed to alcohol vapor during adolescence.
Adolescent vapor exposure in the rat was found to result in deficits in delta (1-4 Hz) and theta (4-8 Hz) power during slow wave sleep. Administration of gabapentin caused a "normalization" of the delta power deficits but did not affect theta power.
This report suggests that the potential mechanisms and therapeutic targets for sleep disturbance associated with adolescent alcohol exposure can be studied in preclinical models and that gabapentin may show partial efficacy in ameliorating these sleep deficits.