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Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation for the Treatment of Parkinson's Disease

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details. Identifier: NCT00001665
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : December 10, 2002
Last Update Posted : March 4, 2008
Information provided by:
National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (CC)

Brief Summary:

The problems in motor activity associated with Parkinson's disease are still poorly understood. Patients with Parkinson's disease often suffer from extremely slow movements (bradykinesia) which result in the inability to perform complex physical acts.

Imaging studies of the brain have provided researchers with information about the specific areas in the brain associated with these motor difficulties. One particular area involved is the surface of the brain called the cerebral cortex.

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) is a non-invasive technique that can be used to stimulate brain activity and gather information about brain function. It is very useful when studying the areas of the brain related to motor activity (motor cortex, corticospinal tract, and corpus callosum). Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) involves the placement of a cooled electromagnet with a figure-eight coil on the patient's scalp and rapidly turning on and off the magnetic flux. This permits non-invasive, relatively localized stimulation of the surface of the brain (cerebral cortex). The effect of magnetic stimulation varies, depending upon the location, intensity and frequency of the magnetic pulses.

Researchers plan to study the therapeutic effects of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) on complex motor behavior of patients with Parkinson's disease. In order to measure its effectiveness, patients will be asked to perform complex tasks, such as playing the piano while receiving transcranial magnetic stimulation.

Condition or disease
Movement Disorders Parkinson Disease

Detailed Description:

The physiology of the motor disturbance in Parkinson's disease is not completely understood. One of the major and perhaps most disabling manifestations of PD is bradykinesia. It is particularly difficult for these patients to perform simultaneous, sequential and complex motor acts. Imaging studies have recently provided important information in reference to the brain regions associated with performance of these motor sequences in normal volunteers and in PD patients. These studies helped us to identify the brain regions active in association with task performance. It has been suggested that cortical regions, and particularly the SMA are less active in patients with PD than in controls in association with motor performance.

We plan to study the effects of subthreshold rTMS delivered to SMA and primary motor cortex in patients with PD "on" and "off" medication. From this study, we expect to learn if stimulation of the scalp overlying primary motor cortex and SMA can ameliorate performance of simple and complex motor sequences in PD.

Subthreshold rTMS has been proposed as a therapeutic tool in psychiatric disorders. In the motor domain, subthreshold rTMS delivered to primary motor cortex improves reaction times and motor performance in patients with Parkinson's disease. The mechanisms underlying this beneficial effect are not known. However, they may be related with subthreshold rTMS replacing the missing excitatory drive on the motor cortex.

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Study Type : Observational
Enrollment : 12 participants
Official Title: Can Subthreshold Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS) to Motor Cortex and/or to Supplementary Motor Area (SMA) Improve Performance of Complex Motor Sequences in Parkinson's Disease?
Study Start Date : January 1997
Study Completion Date : September 2000

Resource links provided by the National Library of Medicine

Information from the National Library of Medicine

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Ages Eligible for Study:   Child, Adult, Older Adult
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Patients with PD.

No epilepsy.

No seizures.

No metal in the head.

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its identifier (NCT number): NCT00001665

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United States, Maryland
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
Bethesda, Maryland, United States, 20892
Sponsors and Collaborators
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)

Layout table for additonal information Identifier: NCT00001665    
Other Study ID Numbers: 970073
First Posted: December 10, 2002    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: March 4, 2008
Last Verified: December 1999
Keywords provided by National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (CC):
Magnetic Stimulation
Motor Skills
Parkinson's Disease
Additional relevant MeSH terms:
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Parkinson Disease
Movement Disorders
Parkinsonian Disorders
Basal Ganglia Diseases
Brain Diseases
Central Nervous System Diseases
Nervous System Diseases
Neurodegenerative Diseases