Researchers at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) seek patients with stroke for participation in a study. The study will examine the behavioral consequences of transient inactivation of the ipsilateral cortex on motor performance of the affected arm in chronic stroke patients with complete and incomplete motor recovery. The results from this study will provide fundamental information on the role of the ipsilateral cortex in recovery of motor function after chronic stroke.
Eligible patients include those with single ischemic hemispheric lesions at least 12 months after stroke and with a severe paresis (below MRC grade 2) of the affected arm initially. An anatomical magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan will be acquired at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) if a recent one (within 6 months) is not available. Healthy normal volunteers who are willing and able to perform the tasks will also be included in the study, and will receive neurological and physical exams to ensure their healthy conditions.
A partial list of exclusion criteria includes patients with more than one stroke, bilateral motor impairment, cerebellar or brainstem lesions, and a 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, and those unable to perform the task (wrist or elbow flexion at least MRC grade 2).
The study will take place at the NIH Clinical Center in Bethesda, MD. All study-related expenses will be paid by the NIH.
For more information, physicians should send a referral letter, a copy of the patient's hospital medical records, and a copy of the patient's last brain MRI or computed tomography (CT) scan to Shashi Ravindran, R.N., M.P.H., Clinical Research Coordinator, Human Cortical Physiology Section, NINDS, NIH, Building 10, Room 5C40, 10 Center Drive MSC 1430, Bethesda, MD 20892-1430; telephone: 301-402-1916; fax: 301-480-2286.