Examining How Motor Rehabilitation Promotes Brain Reorganization Following Stroke, an MRI Study

Ohio State University (Other)
Overall Status
Active, not recruiting
CT.gov ID

Study Details

Study Description

Brief Summary

Constraint-induced movement therapy (CI therapy) is a highly efficacious treatment for residual motor disability in chronic stroke. Its effectiveness is believed to be due, at least in part, to the therapy's ability to aid the brain in "rewiring itself." For example, CI therapy produces increases in the amount of grey matter (the parts of the brain where neuron cell bodies are most closely clustered) in certain areas of the human brain (Gauthier et al., 2008). The cellular and molecular mechanisms that are responsible for this increase in grey matter volume are not known, however. Thus, it is unclear how the therapy helps brains "rewire" themselves. This study aims to better understand the timecourse and cellular/molecular nature of brain changes during CI therapy. Because there is currently no way to directly measure cellular/molecular changes in the brain noninvasively, this study will infer what is happening on a microstructural level using new MRI techniques (three dimensional pictures of the brain). For example, by charting the timecourse of grey matter changes during CI therapy, and cross-comparing this to what is known about the timecourses of different cellular/molecular processes, the investigators can gain a greater understanding of what cellular processes may be responsible for increases in grey matter. The investigators will gain additional information about which cellular processes are important for rehabilitation-induced improvement by measuring larger-scale changes (e.g., amount of blood flow through different brain areas) that accompany cellular changes. The investigators are hopeful that by better understanding how CI therapy can change the brain, the effectiveness of rehabilitation can be improved upon. For example, insight into the mechanisms of rehabilitation-induced brain change may suggest particular drug targets to increase brain plasticity. This study will help us better understand how the brain repairs itself after injury.

Condition or Disease Intervention/Treatment Phase
  • Behavioral: CI therapy

Study Design

Study Type:
Actual Enrollment :
31 participants
Intervention Model:
Crossover Assignment
None (Open Label)
Primary Purpose:
Official Title:
Examining Mechanisms of Neuroplasticity Following Motor Rehabilitation in Stroke
Study Start Date :
Jul 1, 2012
Actual Primary Completion Date :
Jun 30, 2017
Anticipated Study Completion Date :
Nov 1, 2022

Arms and Interventions

Arm Intervention/Treatment
Experimental: Immediate CI therapy

Behavioral: CI therapy
constraint induced movement therapy

Active Comparator: Delayed CI therapy

Behavioral: CI therapy
constraint induced movement therapy

Outcome Measures

Primary Outcome Measures

  1. Brain structure [Participants will be followed for 4-6 weeks. Change in brain structure at mid-treatment (after 1 week of CI therapy), post-treatment (after 2 weeks of therapy), and at 2-week follow-up will be measured.]

    Assessed via dynamic susceptibility contrast MRI, diffusion tensor MRI, MRI-based myelin mapping, T1-weighted MRI

Secondary Outcome Measures

  1. Motor function [Participants will be followed for 4-6 weeks. Change in motor function at mid-treatment (after 1 week of CI therapy), post-treatment (after 2 weeks of therapy), and at 2-week follow-up will be measured.]

    Assessed via Wolf Motor Function Test, Action Research Arm Test, Motor Activity Log

Eligibility Criteria


Ages Eligible for Study:
18 Years and Older
Sexes Eligible for Study:
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:
Inclusion Criteria:
  • Males or females 18 years of age and over

  • Experienced a stroke resulting in mild to moderate hemiparesis (some residual motor function, e.g. able to pick up a washcloth placed flat on a table) at least 6 months prior to enrollment. Suggested active range of motion criteria for this level of impairment include: 45° shoulder abduction and flexion, 20° elbow extension, 20° wrist extension, and 10° extension of thumb and fingers.

  • Preserved ability to comprehend and participate in basic elements of the therapy

Exclusion Criteria:
  • Concurrent participation in other experimental trials for treatment of motor dysfunction

  • Having received botulinum toxin injection within the past 3 months

  • Previous intensive rehabilitation in the chronic phase post-stroke

  • Serious/uncontrolled medical problems (e.g., dementia, severe pain, end-stage or degenerative diseases)

  • Kidney disease as evidenced by eGFR<60

  • Anemia

  • Sickle cell disease

  • History of kidney transplant

  • Other evidence/history of renal disease

  • Pregnancy

  • Implanted metallic parts of implanted electronic devices, including pacemakers, defibrillators, aneurism clip or implant medication pump that are MRI incompatible

  • An implanted brain stimulator

  • Permanent tattoo (e.g., eye liner) containing metallic coloring

  • Claustrophobia precluding MRI

Contacts and Locations


Site City State Country Postal Code
1 The Ohio State University Columbus Ohio United States 43210

Sponsors and Collaborators

  • Ohio State University


  • Principal Investigator: Yousef Hannawi, MD, Ohio State University

Study Documents (Full-Text)

None provided.

More Information


None provided.
Responsible Party:
Yousef Hannawi, Assistant Professor- Neurology, Ohio State University
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier:
Other Study ID Numbers:
  • 60034699
First Posted:
Nov 14, 2012
Last Update Posted:
Nov 5, 2021
Last Verified:
Nov 1, 2021
Keywords provided by Yousef Hannawi, Assistant Professor- Neurology, Ohio State University
Additional relevant MeSH terms:

Study Results

No Results Posted as of Nov 5, 2021