Tactile Learning in Stroke Patients

Completed

Phase N/A Results N/A

Eligibility Criteria

- INCLUSION CRITERIA:
We will include left- and right-handed stroke patients, aged 18-90 years, with thromboembolic or hemorrhagic hemispheric lesions at least 3 months after the stroke. We will choose patients who initially had a severe motor paresis (below MRC grade 2), and subsequently recovered to the point that they have a residual motor deficit but can perform the required tasks. Moreover, only chronic stroke patients with moderate tactile deficits (defined by absolute touch thresholds below 4 N using von Frey filaments) who are able to differentiate the alignment of a grating dome (either orthogonal or parallel to the index finger) of at least 5 mm grooves that is applied on the fingertip will be included in the protocol.
Assessment of the initial functional state will be taken either from patient reports or medical records. Right-handed healthy volunteers, aged 18-90 years, should be able to concentrate on the required tasks. Handedness will be assessed by the Edinburgh inventory scale as well as the hand dominance test (HDT). We will additionally perform a pregnancy test for women of child-bearing potential. All experimental sessions will be on outpatient basis.
EXCLUSION CRITERIA:
Chronic stroke patients will be not be eligible for the study if they:
- are unable to perform the behavioral tasks,
- have a sensory neglect,
- have had more than one clinical stroke,
- have both sides of the brain affected,
- have had a stroke in the cerebellum or brainstem,
- have a history of alcohol or drug abuse or severe language disturbances or serious cognitive deficits,
- have uncontrolled medical problems, such as heart, lung or kidney disease, epilepsy or diabetes mellitus,
- have severe tactile deficits (defined by Frey filaments exerting a force of 4 N to the distal pad of the finger on the paretic and non-paretic hand),
- are pregnant,
- have a cardiac pacemaker, intracardiac lines, implanted medication pumps, neural stimulators, metal in the cranium, with the exception of dental braces in the mouth.
Exclusion criteria for healthy volunteers:
Healthy volunteers will not be eligible for the study if they:
- are unable to perform the tasks,
- have a history of alcohol or drug abuse or severe language disturbances or serious cognitive deficits,
- have uncontrolled medical problems, such as heart, lung or kidney disease, epilepsy or diabetes mellitus,
- have severe tactile deficits (defined by Frey filaments exerting a force of 4 N to the distal pad of the finger),
- are pregnant,
- have a cardiac pacemaker, intracardiac lines, implanted medication pumps, neural stimulators, metal in the cranium except in the mouth, dental braces.