Hines, Illinois 60141

  • Spinal Cord Injury

Purpose:

The overall goals of this proposal are to examine the contribution of physiological pathways to the control of grasping behaviors after cervical SCI, and to maximize the recovery of grasping by using tailored non-invasive brain stimulation and acoustic startle protocols with motor training. The investigators propose to study two basic grasping behaviors, which are largely used in most daily-life activities: a precision grip and a power grip.


Study summary:

Grasping behaviors, which are essential for daily-life functions, are largely impaired in individuals with cervical spinal cord injury (SCI). Although rehabilitative interventions have shown success in improving the ability to grasp following injury their overall effects remain limited. The goals of this proposal are to examine the contribution of physiological pathways to the control of grasping behaviors after cervical SCI, and to maximize the recovery of grasping by using tailored non-invasive stimulation protocols with motor training. The investigators propose to study two basic grasping behaviors: a precision grip and a power grip. These behaviors are crucial because they provide the basis for a number human prehensile manipulations and are also necessary skills for eating, writing, dressing, and many other functions. Thus, the study results may have a direct impact on the quality of life for Veterans and their caregivers by enhancing their independence and level of care. In Aim 1, the investigators will investigate the contribution of corticospinal and brainstem pathways to the control of hand muscles involved in precision and power grip after cervical SCI. Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) will be used to examine transmission in corticospinal and intracortical pathways targeting finger muscles and an acoustic startle stimulus with and without TMS will be used to examine the contribution from brainstem pathways. In Aim 2, the investigators propose to enhance the recovery of grasping by using novel tailored protocols of non-invasive repetitive TMS targeting late indirect (I) descending volleys (iTMS) and an acoustic startle stimuli. iTMS and startle will be used during precision and power grip movements in a task-dependent manner to induce cortical and subcortical plasticity and enhance voluntary output of hand muscles. Later, iTMS and startle will be applied in a task-dependent manner during a motor training task that involves precision and power grip. These unique approaches aim at promoting neuroplasticity during functionally relevant grasping movements has not been used before.


Criteria:

Inclusion Criteria: Participants who are unimpaired healthy controls: - Male and females between ages 18-85 years - Right handed - Able to complete precision grips with both hands - Able to complete full wrist flexion-extension bilaterally Participants who have had a spinal cord injury: - Male and females between ages 18-85 years - Chronic SCI (> 1 year post injury) - Spinal Cord injury at or above C8 - The ability to produce a visible precision grip force with one hand - Able to perform some small wrist flexion and extension - ASIA A,B,C, or D Exclusion Criteria: Exclusion criteria for enrollment For SCI and Healthy Control Subjects (4-8 exclusion for non-invasive brain stimulation only): - Uncontrolled medical problems including pulmonary, cardiovascular or orthopedic disease - Any debilitating disease prior to the SCI that caused exercise intolerance - Premorbid, ongoing major depression or psychosis, altered cognitive status - History of head injury or stroke - Metal plate in skull - History of seizures - Receiving drugs acting primarily on the central nervous system, which lower the seizure threshold - Pregnant females - Ongoing cord compression or a syrinx in the spinal cord or who suffer from a spinal cord disease such as spinal stenosis, spina bifida, MS, or herniated disk


NCT ID:

NCT03447509


Primary Contact:

Principal Investigator
Monica A Perez, PhD
Edward Hines Jr. VA Hospital, Hines, IL

Monica A Perez, PhD
Phone: (708) 202-5702
Email: Monica.Perez@va.gov


Backup Contact:

N/A


Location Contact:

Hines, Illinois 60141
United States

Monica A Perez, PhD
Phone: 708-202-5702
Email: Monica.Perez@va.gov

Site Status: Recruiting


Data Source: ClinicalTrials.gov

Date Processed: September 27, 2021

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