Improvement of Use Dependent Plasticity in Chronic Stroke Patients


Phase 1 Results N/A

Eligibility Criteria

We will include patients with thromboembolic non-hemorrhagic hemispheric lesions at least 12 months after the stroke.
We will choose patients who initially had a severe motor paresis (below MRC grade 2), which subsequently recovered to the point that they have a residual motor deficit but can perform the required tasks.
As a control group, we will include age- and gender matched normal volunteers with matched non-dominant/dominant hand (to the affected hand of the stroke patients).
Patients with more than one stroke in the middle cerebral artery territory.
Patients with bilateral motor impairment.
Patients with cerebellar or brainstem lesions.
Patients receiving alpha-adrenergic antagonists or agonists, major/minor tranquilizers, clonidine, prazosin, phonation, benzodiazepines, scopolamine, haloperidol, other neuroleptics, barbiturates and MAO inhibitors.
Patients or normal volunteers unable to perform the task (wrist or elbow flexion at least MRC grade 2).
Patients or normal volunteers with history of severe alcohol or drug abuse, psychiatric illness like severe depression, poor motivational capacity, or severe language disturbances, particularly of receptive nature or with serious cognitive deficits (defined as equivalent to a mini-mental state exam score of 23 or less).
Patients or normal volunteers with severe uncontrolled medical problems (e.g. hypertension, cardiovascular disease, severe rheumatoid arthritis, active joint deformity of arthritic origin, active cancer or renal disease, any kind of end-stage pulmonary or cardiovascular disease, or a deteriorated condition due to age, uncontrolled epilepsy or others).
Patients or normal volunteers with increased intracranial pressure as evaluated by clinical means.
Patients or normal volunteers with unstable cardiac arrhythmia.
Patients or normal volunteers with history of hyperthyroidism or individuals receiving drugs acting primarily on the central nervous system.
Patients and normal volunteers with more than moderate to severe microangiopathy, polyneuropathy, diabetes mellitus, or ischemic peripheral disease.
Patients and normal volunteers less than 18 years of age.
Lactating women.