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Studying Automatic Movements in Patients With 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: NCT00063661
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : July 2, 2003
Last Update Posted : March 4, 2008
Information provided by:
National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (CC)

Brief Summary:

Parkinson's disease patients usually have difficulty making automatic movements. Automatic movements are movements people often make without conscious thought.

The purpose of this study is to investigate regions of the brain that affect automatic movements and to understand the movements of Parkinson's patients. Investigators hope this knowledge will lead to better treatment for the disease.

Thirty participants will be enrolled in this study. Each will give a medical history and undergo a brief physical exam. Participants will have two MRI scans, each lasting approximately 1.5 hours. During these scans, they may be asked to move their right or left hands or to remember some letters that they have been shown. Before undergoing the second scan, participants will be asked to practice the tasks until they can perform them correctly.

Condition or disease
Parkinson Disease

Detailed Description:
Patients with Parkinson's Disease (PD) are deficient in making automatic movements. The underlying neural correlates of the problem are not understood. In the present study, to investigate the brain activity contributing to this disorder, we will use specially designed dual-task paradigm and the functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) technique. Thirty patients with PD will be asked to perform sequential finger-tapping movement with the right hand; results will be analyzed from 20 patients who achieve automaticity as defined in the study. In addition, we will use a dual-task paradigm to evaluate automaticity by having subjects perform either a distraction task (involving visual memory) or an interference task (tapping with the left hand) simultaneously with the sequential movements. Patients will practice to achieve automaticity. fMRI will be obtained before and after achieving automaticity. By analyzing fMRI results, we will explore the brain regions associated with deficiency of automatic movements in PD patients.

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Study Type : Observational
Enrollment : 30 participants
Official Title: A Neuroimaging Study of Automatic Movements in Patients With Parkinson's Disease
Study Start Date : June 2003
Study Completion Date : May 2005

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


Thirty patients with PD will be included in the study.

The diagnosis of PD is based on medical history, physical and neurological examinations, response to levodopa or dopaminergic drugs, and laboratory tests and MRI scans to exclude other diseases.

Patients will be assessed with the Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS) and Mini-Mental State Exam (MMSE). Only patients with mild to moderate motor disability (UDRS less than or equal to 40) and without cognitive impairment (MMT score greater than or equal to 25) will be investigated.

Patients will be studied only after their medication has been withdrawn for at least 12 hours.

All subjects participating in the study should have a valid Clinical Center Medical Record Number.

The fMRI experiment will follow the standard operating procedures of the HMCS Neuroimaging Group.


Subjects with psychiatric disorders or severe motor disabilities will be excluded.

Subjects with pacemakers, cardiac or neural defibrillators, intracranial aneurysm clips, intraorbital metallic structures, insulin pumps, cochlear implants, and other metallic objects will not be scanned.

Women who are pregnant are excluded from MRI because the safety of the fetus in the presence of high magnetic fields is not established. Therefore, all women of childbearing potential will have a pregnancy test performed, which must be negative, before proceeding.

Subjects under age 18 will be excluded.

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): NCT00063661

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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: NCT00063661    
Other Study ID Numbers: 030236
First Posted: July 2, 2003    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: March 4, 2008
Last Verified: May 2005
Keywords provided by National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (CC):
Brain Activity
Parkinson Disease
Additional relevant MeSH terms:
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Parkinson Disease
Parkinsonian Disorders
Basal Ganglia Diseases
Brain Diseases
Central Nervous System Diseases
Nervous System Diseases
Movement Disorders
Neurodegenerative Diseases