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Potentiation of Procedural Motor Learning in Health and Disease

This study has been terminated.
(no further funding available for recruiting and testing participants)
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
University Hospital Muenster Identifier:
First received: July 31, 2005
Last updated: January 18, 2013
Last verified: January 2013
The investigators plan to improve the learning of motor skills by pharmacological means (dopamine), and by noninvasive brain stimulation. They will study both healthy subjects and chronic stroke patients. In addition, they want to study the mechanisms of enhanced learning, on the molecular and the systems level.

Condition Intervention Phase
Stroke Drug: dopamine Phase 4

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Crossover Assignment
Masking: Double (Investigator, Outcomes Assessor)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Potentiation of Procedural Motor Learning by Pharmacological Neuromodulation and Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation in Health and Disease

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by University Hospital Muenster:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • Procedural motor learning (decrease in reaction time in ms) after the respective intervention (dopamine, transcranial direct current stimulation), compared to placebo

Enrollment: 18
Study Start Date: July 2005
Study Completion Date: January 2013
Primary Completion Date: December 2007 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Detailed Description:

Adaptive behavior requires procedural motor learning, i.e. the acquisition of motor skills. Procedural learning is particularly critical in the rehabilitation of chronic motor deficits after stroke. A potent modulator of motor function and learning is found in the endogenous dopaminergic system. The investigator's own work could demonstrate that formation of an elementary motor memory, which constitutes the first step in acquiring more complex motor skills, can be enhanced in both healthy subjects and chronic stroke patients by pre-medication with levodopa. The aim of the present proposal is to:

  • expand these exciting findings to procedural motor learning;
  • explore the interaction with age, brain lesions, add-on interventions such as transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS); and
  • illuminate the underlying mechanisms.

The effect of levodopa +/- tDCS on procedural motor learning and cortical excitability will be studied in healthy volunteers and stroke patients. Then the investigator plans to delineate the underlying mechanisms of this effect by exploring N-methyl-D-asparate (NMDA) receptor-dependency of levodopa-enhanced learning and changes in activation and connectivity (using functional magnetic resonance imaging) in the respective neural networks resulting from the interaction of learning and dopaminergic neuromodulation.


Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years to 80 Years   (Adult, Senior)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes

Inclusion Criteria:

Healthy Volunteers:

  • Normal neurological examination
  • Mini Mental State Examination of > 27
  • Right handedness

Stroke Patients:

  • Cortical or subcortical stroke with an initial severe hemiparesis Medical Research Council (MRC) scale < 2 that has recovered to a degree that patients are able to perform the proposed task (in general > MRC 4.5, with low spasticity, work in progress on motor learning in stroke patients)
  • At least 1 year post-stroke
  • Mini Mental State Examination of > 27
  • Right-handedness

Exclusion Criteria:

Healthy Volunteers and Stroke Patients:

  • No antipsychotic, antidepressant drugs, and drugs affecting the dopaminergic system.
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Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT00126087

University of Münster, Department of Neurology
Münster, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany, 48129
Sponsors and Collaborators
University Hospital Muenster
Principal Investigator: Agnes Flöel, MD University of Münster, Department of Neurology, Germany
  More Information

Responsible Party: University Hospital Muenster Identifier: NCT00126087     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: Motor-Neuromod_01
Study First Received: July 31, 2005
Last Updated: January 18, 2013

Keywords provided by University Hospital Muenster:
NMDA receptor
brain imaging
transcranial direct current stimulation

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Dopamine Agents
Cardiotonic Agents
Autonomic Agents
Peripheral Nervous System Agents
Physiological Effects of Drugs
Neurotransmitter Agents
Molecular Mechanisms of Pharmacological Action
Protective Agents processed this record on August 23, 2017