Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation to Treat Symptoms of Parkinson's Disease
This study will examine the effects of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) on gait (walking) problems and rigidity in patients with Parkinson's disease. tDCS is a method of brain stimulation that may be able to change the electrical activity of the nerves of the brain, possibly causing Parkinson's disease symptoms to improve.
Patients between 40 and 80 years of age with moderately severe Parkinson's disease whose main symptoms are problems with walking, including freezing, or rigidity, may be eligible for this study. Candidates must be taking Sinemet or another L-DOPA drug and not have too much tremor.
Participants will be assigned to receive either real or sham (placebo) tDCS. Both groups will have eight treatments over 3-1/2 weeks. For the tDCS, electrodes are placed on wet pads on the scalp. An electrical current passes through the electrodes, travels through the scalp and skull, and causes small electrical currents in the cortex-the outer part of the brain. Participants will have a neurological examination, including an evaluation of walking, just before and just after each tDCS session. Patients' motor function will be re-evaluated at 1, 3, and 6 months after the last tDCS treatment.
|Study Design:||Allocation: Randomized
Endpoint Classification: Efficacy Study
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Double Blind (Subject, Outcomes Assessor)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
|Official Title:||Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation for the Treatment of Parkinson's Disease|
- Gait Speed Before and After Real and Sham tDCS. [ Time Frame: baseline, 1 day post, 1 month post, 3 months post-tDCS ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]Gait speed was measured by the time it took the subject to walk 10m. Subjects were instructed to walk at a fast pace without taking the risk of falling, wearing the same shoes and using assistive devices consistently if needed. Gait speed was measured at baseline and post-tDCS.
- UPDRS Total Scores Before and After Real tDCS Course and After Sham tDCS Course. [ Time Frame: baseline, 1 day post, 1 month post, 3 months post-tDCS ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]The Total Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS) is an overall clinical rating scale that quantifies the signs and symptoms of Parkinson's disease. The total UPDRS score was obtained from subject examination, subject interviews and questionnaires. The UPDRS encompasses measurement of mentation, behavior, mood, activities of daily living and motor skills. The total UPDRS scores ranges from 0 (not affected) to 176 (most severely affected). The UPDRS was administred at baseline and at 1 day post, 1 month post, and 3 months post tDCS or sham, while on medication and off medication.
- UPDRS Motor Scores Before and After Real tDCS Course and After Sham tDCS Course. [ Time Frame: baseline, 1 day post, 1 month post, and 3 months post real and sham tDCS ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]The Motor Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS) includes only the motor assessment of the UPDRS (Part III) and examines speech, facial expression, tremor at rest, action tremor, rigidity, finger taps, hand movements, hand pronation and supination, leg agility, arising from chair, posture, gait, postural stability and body bradykinesia. The scores range from 0 (no motor impairment) to 108 (severe motor impairment). The Motor UPDRS was administred at baseline and at 1 day post, 1 month post, and 3 months post tDCS or sham. Subjects were assessed on medication and off medication.
- Bradykinesia Measure Before and After Real and Sham tDCS. [ Time Frame: baseline, 1 day post, 1 month post, 3 months post tDCS ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]Bradykinesia refers to the slowness in executing a movement. Bradykinesia was assessed by measuring the time in seconds it takes to do the following sequence, 10 times: 1) hand closing and opening while squeezing a ball 2) elbow flexion 3) hand closing and opening, and 4) elbow extension. Subjects were allowed to practice these hand and arm movements until performance appeared not to get faster, and then were abstained from further practice to minimize learning effects. The time it takes subjects to execute the entire sequence 10 times with either the left or right arm/hand was measured. Means are reported for each group.
|Study Start Date:||March 2003|
|Primary Completion Date:||February 2009 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)|
|Active Comparator: real transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS)||
Device: Phoressor II (IOMED)
real tDCS stimulation
|Sham Comparator: sham transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS)||
Device: Phoressor II (IOMED)
The treatment of Parkinson's disease (PD) needs further improvement, particularly in the areas of gait and freezing. Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) which passes weak direct current (DC) current through the skull and across the cortex has been done for many years with numerous effects described in healthy subjects and patients with mental illness. Recently, it has been shown by objective means, in controlled experiments, that this type of treatment has robust and lasting effects on the excitability of the motor cortex in healthy humans. We hypothesize that tDCS will have a beneficial effect on gait and freezing in medicated patients, and we propose to test this in a controlled trial. Specifically, we propose to look at the effect of 1-2 mA tDCS with anode position over the frontal poles and/or premotor and primary motor cortex, and cathode over mastoid process. Over a one-year period, we will enroll 42 adults with PD and evaluate the acute tDCS effects over a period of four weeks (eight tDCS sessions, nine visits). Additional ratings will be done at one and three months after the end of tDCS sessions. Symptoms will be evaluated with standard tests of motor function, including the Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS) and specific tests of gait and freezing. We will also look for cumulative, long-lasting effects over the three-month period.
|United States, Maryland|
|National Institutes of Health Clinical Center, 9000 Rockville Pike|
|Bethesda, Maryland, United States, 20892|