Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS) to Promote Hand Recovery in Stroke (rTMS)
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|ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT00913211|
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : June 4, 2009
Last Update Posted : August 31, 2011
|Condition or disease||Intervention/treatment||Phase|
|Stroke||Device: rTMS Procedure: Motor learning training Procedure: rTMS and Tracking Device: Sham rTMS||Phase 1|
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The proposed research penetrates the problem of hemiparesis following stroke. This problem devastates quality of life in thousands of people each year. The brain shows remarkable ability to reorganize under certain conditions, including after stroke. Unfortunately, some changes are maladaptive and leave the individual with additional loss of function beyond that caused directly by the ischemic damage. Specifically, motor neurons in the ipsilesional (stroke) hemisphere that have survived the stroke can undergo a loss of excitability due to exaggerated interhemispheric inhibition imposed on them from neurons in the contralesional (non-stroke) hemisphere through transcallosal pathways. Fortunately, the maladaptive reorganization is reversible, even in chronic stroke, through forced-use and forced-learning paradigms with the paretic limb. But we postulate that the effectiveness of behavioral training can be richly enhanced when combined with electrophysiologic intervention that also affects neural excitability. Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) is a potent and noninvasive way to influence the excitability of the brain. rTMS, at low stimulation frequencies, depresses neural function. By stimulating the contralesional motor cortex at low frequency, thereby depressing interhemispheric inhibition, a net excitatory effect (disinhibition) is induced upon the ipsilesional motor cortex. Furthermore, it has been shown in animals and in healthy humans that the depressive effect on the stimulated hemisphere can be magnified by preceding the low-frequency rTMS with 6-hz "priming" rTMS. We will call this arrangement 6-Hz primed low-frequency rTMS. We contend that by combining 6-Hz primed low-frequency rTMS with behavioral motor learning training unprecedented improvements in recovery from hemiparesis can be achieved. We have recently demonstrated the safety of a single treatment of 6-Hz primed low-frequency rTMS in stroke but a large gap in knowledge still exists in not knowing the effect of serial treatments of 6-Hz primed low-frequency rTMS combined with motor learning training. Failure to address this gap only perpetuates the use of conservative strategies in stroke rehabilitation, which may rob individuals of their fullest possible recovery.
Our long-term goal is to maximize motor recovery following stroke. The objective of this proposal is to integrate the excitability effects induced exogenously by rTMS with those produced endogenously by motor learning to produce a powerful yet safe interactive effect leading to improved recovery from hemiparesis. The central hypothesis is that serial treatments of 6-Hz primed low-frequency rTMS combined with motor learning training will be effective and safe. Our research team is uniquely qualified to execute this project because of 1) special training in rTMS undertaken by the PI in the laboratory of an international leader in rTMS, 2) participation of this leader as a consultant, 3) participation of a neuroscientist with expertise in stroke neuroplasticity as a consultant, 4) participation of a recognized expert in cerebrovascular disease as a co-investigator, 5) conducting the study in the University of Minnesota's General Clinical Research Center to maximize protection of patients, and 6) inclusion of the Center for Magnetic Resonance Research for studying brain reorganization.
The specific aims of this project are to:
Specific Aim #1. Determine the efficacy of using serial treatments of 6-Hz primed low-frequency rTMS, in isolation and in combination with motor learning training, to improve hand function in stroke.
Forty subjects with stroke (with partial movement in weak hand, able to walk 100 feet, able to follow directions, no history of seizures, no medical devices or metal incompatible with mri) will be randomly assigned in equal numbers to one of four treatment groups: The rTMSonly group will receive 5 treatments of rTMS to the primary motor area (M1) of the contralesional hemisphere consisting of 10 min. of 6-Hz ("priming") rTMS at 90% of resting motor threshold interrupted into 20 trains of 5-s duration with 25-s intervals between trains then followed immediately by 10 additional min. of 1-Hz ("low-frequency") rTMS continuously at 90% of resting motor threshold. Treatments will be every other day over two weeks. The Trackonly group will receive 5 treatments of computerized finger tracking training every other day for two weeks. The rTMScombined group will receive the same rTMS as the rTMSonly group and it will be alternated with the same tracking training as the Trackonly group until 5 days of each have occurred over a two-week period. The rTMSsham group will receive the same rTMS procedures, including similar sound, but no magnetic stimulation will occur. The four treatments have a 2x2 factorial design, with rTMS and tracking as the factors, which allows estimation of any synergistic effects of rTMS combined with tracking. Behavioral gains in the paretic hand will be measured with finger prehension/dexterity tests, finger tracking accuracy, subject self ratings and examiner ratings. The working hypotheses are:
- the rTMScombined group will show greater improvements in paretic hand function than the rTMSonly and Trackonly groups at posttest and at one-month follow-up, and
- the rTMSonly and Trackonly groups will show greater improvements than the rTMSsham group.
Specific Aim #2. Explore the neural mechanism associated with 6-Hz primed low-frequency rTMS combined with tracking training.
Following the treatments described in Aim #1, M1 excitability will be measured with paired-pulse TMS testing in the ipsilesional hemisphere. This testing will allow for examination of both cortical inhibition and excitation. In addition, brain reorganization associated with voluntary activation will be measured with functional MRI yielding data on volume and signal intensity of active voxels during paretic finger tracking. The working hypotheses are:
- the rTMScombined group will show greater increases in cortical excitability and brain reorganization in the ipsilesional hemisphere than the rTMSonly and Trackonly groups at posttest and at one-month follow-up,
- the rTMSonly and Trackonly groups will show greater increases than the rTMSsham group.
Specific Aim #3. Determine the safety of serial 6-Hz primed low-frequency rTMS treatments in stroke.
Associated with the treatments described in Aim #1, adverse effects will be measured through observation for seizures at the time of treatment. Neurocognitive tests will measure mood, verbal comprehension, perceptual organization, working memory and processing speed. Also, a finger tracking test will measure motor control in the nonparetic hand. The working hypothesis is:
1. five 6-Hz primed low-frequency rTMS treatments, given alone or in combination with motor learning training, will not produce any seizure activity or any other serious adverse effect.
|Study Type :||Interventional (Clinical Trial)|
|Estimated Enrollment :||40 participants|
|Intervention Model:||Parallel Assignment|
|Official Title:||rTMS and Motor Learning Training to Promote Recovery From Hemiparesis|
|Study Start Date :||September 2007|
|Actual Primary Completion Date :||August 2011|
|Actual Study Completion Date :||August 2011|
Experimental: rTMS only
brain stimulation to non-stroke primary motor area
600 pulses of 6 hz priming rTMS at 90% of threshold followed by 600 pulses of low-frequency rTMS at 90% of threshold.
Experimental: Finger tracking training
Motor learning training using finger flexion/extension tracking movements toward a target.
Procedure: Motor learning training
one hour of repeated finger tracking movements toward a changing target.
Experimental: rTMS and finger tracking
Combination of rTMS and tracking
Procedure: rTMS and Tracking
Combination of rTMS and finger tracking
Placebo Comparator: Sham
Sham rTMS treatment
Device: Sham rTMS
Sham treatment of rTMS
- box and block finger prehension test [ Time Frame: 45 days ]
- cortical excitability [ Time Frame: from pretest to posttest (2 weeks) ]Paired pulse TMS testing will show increase in the ratio of paired pulse to single pulse MEP amplitude when stimulating ipsilesional M1.
- cognitive function [ Time Frame: pretest to posttest (2 weeks) ]There will be no decline in function on the Hopkins Verbal learning test.
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 ClinicalTrials.gov identifier (NCT number): NCT00913211
|United States, Minnesota|
|University of Minnesota|
|Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States, 55455|
|Principal Investigator:||James R Carey, PhD||University of Minnesota - Clinical and Translational Science Institute|