Expired Study
This study is not currently recruiting Study Participants on ClinicalConnection.com. If you would like to find active studies please search for clinical trials.

Bethesda, Maryland 20892


The purpose of this study is to investigate the physiology associated with plasticity of the motor system. Plasticity refers to the process by which neighboring brain cells assume the responsibilities of damaged or diseased brain cells. The mechanisms behind this process are unknown. However, researchers have several theories about how plastic changes take place. Possible explanations include the growth of new connections between brain cells and the use of previously unused connections. Researchers plan to use transcranial magnetic stimulation and drug intervention in order to determine the mechanisms responsible for specific types of plasticity. Previous studies have shown that certain drugs can affect the mechanisms involved in these changes. By using one drug at a time, researchers plan to evaluate the role of each of several different mechanisms in brain reorganization.

Study summary:

The purpose of this study is to investigate the physiology associated with plasticity of the motor system seen in a number of different circumstances. Techniques used will involve the combination of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and pharmacologic interventions. We propose to use drugs judged to be safe, that either potentiate GABA related intracortical inhibition, change presynaptic release of excitatory aminoacids like glutamate, or decrease the activity of the NMDA receptors (mostly antiepileptic drugs). If plastic changes expressed as larger motor maps or motor evoked potentials (MEP) to TMS are secondary to intracortical disinhibition, administration of a drug that potentiates intracortical inhibition may result in decreased plasticity and smaller motor maps or MEP. This finding would then identify intracortical disinhibition as the mechanism responsible for this type of plasticity. Similarly, if plastic changes decrease with a drug that inhibits release of excitatory aminoacids, or that antagonize the action of NMDA receptors, the mechanism underlying plasticity is likely to be mediated by modulation in the release of excitatory aminoacids or activity in NMDA-receptors. Results from this study will then provide information about the relative involvement of intracortical disinhibition, modulation in the release of excitatory aminoacids, and role of NMDA receptors in different settings of human plasticity.


Must be over 18 years of age. Must not have personal history of seizures, loss of consciousness, hypertension, psychosis, heart conditions or allergies to any of the drugs. Women must not be nursing or pregnant. Patients may have amputations, spinal cord injuries, blindness or large hemispheric lesions from stroke.

Study is Available At:

Original ID:




Secondary ID:


Study Acronym:

Brief Title:

Mechanisms of Human Plasticity in the Human System

Official Title:

Mechanisms of Plasticity in the Human Motor System

Overall Status:


Study Phase:




Minimum Age:


Maximum Age:


Quick Facts

Healthy Volunteers
Oversight Has DMC
Study Is FDA Regulated
Study Is Section 801
Has Expanded Access

Study Source:

National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (CC)

Oversight Authority:

United States: Federal Government

Reasons Why Stopped:

Study Type:


Study Design:


Number of Arms:


Number of Groups:


Total Enrollment:


Enrollment Type:

Study Dates

Start Date:December 1996
Completion Date:March 2002
Verification Date:March 2002
Last Changed Date:March 3, 2008
First Received Date:November 3, 1999

Study Outcomes

There are no available Study Outcomes

Study Interventions

There are no available Study Interventions

Study Arms

There are no available Study Arms

Study Agencies

Agency Class:NIH
Agency Type:Lead Sponsor
Agency Name:National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)

Sample and Retention Information

There are no available Sample and Retention Information

Study References

Reference Type:Reference
Citation:Brasil-Neto JP, Valls-Sole J, Pascual-Leone A, Cammarota A, Amassian VE, Cracco R, Maccabee P, Cracco J, Hallett M, Cohen LG. Rapid modulation of human cortical motor outputs following ischaemic nerve block. Brain. 1993 Jun;116 ( Pt 3):511-25.
Reference Type:Reference
Citation:Ziemann U, Lonnecker S, Steinhoff BJ, Paulus W. Effects of antiepileptic drugs on motor cortex excitability in humans: a transcranial magnetic stimulation study. Ann Neurol. 1996 Sep;40(3):367-78.
Reference Type:Reference
Citation:Cohen LG, Bandinelli S, Findley TW, Hallett M. Motor reorganization after upper limb amputation in man. A study with focal magnetic stimulation. Brain. 1991 Feb;114 ( Pt 1B):615-27.

Data Source: ClinicalTrials.gov

Date Processed: January 21, 2020

Modifications to this listing: Only selected fields are shown, please use the link below to view all information about this clinical trial.

This study is not currently recruiting Study Participants. The form below is not enabled.