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Treatment for Movement Problems in Elderly Stroke Patients

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: NCT00059696
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : May 5, 2003
Last Update Posted : September 26, 2016
Information provided by:
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)

Brief Summary:
After a stroke, many patients are left with an impaired arm. Restricting the use of the good arm may improve the use of the bad arm. In "Constraint-Induced Movement" therapy (CI therapy), the good arm is put in a sling to force increased use of the bad arm. The bad arm is also trained each day for several weeks. This study will evaluate the effectiveness of CI therapy in patients with chronic disability after stroke and whether the rate of recovery is decreased in elderly patients.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Cerebrovascular Disorders Procedure: Constraint-Induced Movement Therapy Phase 2

Detailed Description:

Stroke afflicts over 700,000 Americans each year. Behavioral techniques that impact plasticity of the nervous system need to be incorporated into practical, evidence-based therapeutic interventions. This is especially true at a time when the duration of treatments reimbursed by third party payers has shortened.

CI therapy was derived from basic research with animal subjects and human volunteers. Randomized, controlled studies indicate that it can substantially reduce the motor deficit of patients with mild to moderate chronic strokes and can increase their independence over a period of years. CI therapy involves motor restriction of the less affected upper extremity for a period of 2 to 3 weeks while concurrently training the more affected upper limb. This gives rise to massed or concentrated repetitive use of the more affected extremity. CI therapy leads to a large increase in use-dependent cortical reorganization involving the recruitment of other regions of the brain in the innervation of the more affected extremity movement.

One of the main aims of the proposed research is to determine if CI therapy can be used with therapeutic success for increasing the amount of real-world extremity use in patients with chronic stroke. Another aim is to ascertain whether the locus of the lesion and its size, as determined by MRI, are factors influencing the extent to which motor function can be recovered through the use of CI therapy.

Eighty patients with chronic stroke will be randomly assigned to receive either CI therapy or a General Fitness control intervention. Two years after study entry, the patients in the control group will be crossed over to receive CI therapy. Primary outcome measures will be a laboratory motor function test and amount of extremity use in the real-world setting. Changes in psychosocial functioning will also be measured.

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Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Estimated Enrollment : 80 participants
Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Crossover Assignment
Masking: Single
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: A Treatment for Excess Motor Disability in the Aged
Study Start Date : December 1999
Actual Primary Completion Date : November 2004

Information from the National Library of Medicine

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Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years and older   (Adult, Older Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria

  • First stroke > 12 months prior to study entry
  • Impaired Flexor synergy, pronation and supination of forearm, active wrist extension, active finger extension, and active grasp and release
  • Minimum passive range of motion and spasticity criteria (defined as stroke patients who fall into approximately the second to lowest quartile of motor functioning as determined by the Fugl-Meyer Test)
  • Available for follow-up at the treatment site (3 years for control patients; 2 years for intervention patients)

Exclusion Criteria

  • Folstein Mini-Mental State Examination score < 24
  • Token Test of the Multilingual Aphasia Examination score < 36
  • Excessive frailty or lack of stamina (e.g., cannot attend to instructions, stay awake, engage in functional activities) as determined by study officials
  • Serious uncontrolled medical conditions
  • Excessive pain in any joint of the affected extremity that could limit ability to cooperate with the intervention, as judged by study officials
  • Unable to stand independently for 2 minutes, transfer independently to and from the toilet, or perform sit-to-stand
  • Current participation in other pharmacological or physical intervention studies
  • Injections of anti-spasticity drugs into upper extremity musculature within the past 3 months or wish to have drugs injected in the foreseeable future
  • Any oral anti-spasticity drugs at study entry
  • Phenol injections within 12 months prior to study entry

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): NCT00059696

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United States, Alabama
University of Alabama at Birmingham
Birmingham, Alabama, United States, 35294-1170
Sponsors and Collaborators
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)
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Principal Investigator: Edward Taub, Ph.D. University of Alabama at Birmingham
Taub, E. (1994). Overcoming learned nonuse: A new behavioral medicine approach to physical medicine. In J. G. Carlson, S. R. Seifert, & N. Birbaumer. (eds.) Clinical applied psychophysiology (pp. 185-220). New York: Plenum.
Taub E, Crago JE, Uswatte, G: Constraint-Induced Movement Therapy: A new approach to treatment in physical rehabilitation. Rehabilitation Psychology 43: 152-170, 1998.

Layout table for additonal information Identifier: NCT00059696    
Other Study ID Numbers: 2R01HD034273-04 ( U.S. NIH Grant/Contract )
First Posted: May 5, 2003    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: September 26, 2016
Last Verified: May 2011
Keywords provided by Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD):
Constraint-Induced Movement Therapy
CI therapy
Cerebrovascular accident
Upper extremity
Concentrated, extended practice
Limb restraint
Motor Deficits
Additional relevant MeSH terms:
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Cerebrovascular Disorders
Brain Diseases
Central Nervous System Diseases
Nervous System Diseases
Vascular Diseases
Cardiovascular Diseases