In this study, we will use electrodes implanted inside the skull and over the scalp to study the effect of non-invasive brain stimulation method called transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS). We will record changes in electric brain potentials and brain activity as a result of tDCS at both inside skull at scalp level. We will use this information to interpret how tDCS leads to changes inside the brain leading to changes the brain activity. This study will help us develop interventions that involve use of tDCS in a variety of disease conditions like stroke, depression, addiction, etc.
This study examines eye movements and the pupil's response to light in progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP), comparing to Parkinson's disease and control subjects without neurological disease. Computerized measures of eye movements and pupil changes will be used. Subjects will also receive an eye exam to rule out other eye diseases. The goal of this study is to use subtle changes in eye movements and the pupil's response to light for earlier diagnosis of PSP.
The primary study objective is to determine whether treatment with mexiletine at doses of 300 mg/day or 600 mg/day suppresses cortical hyperexcitability in sporadic ALS patients relative to placebo, and, thus, may be able to slow progression in ALS. The change in resting motor threshold (RMT), estimated from single pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) measurements made before treatment, after 4 weeks of treatment, and then again after a 4 week washout, will be used as the primary pharmacodynamic marker of cortical hyperexcitability.
Post-stroke hand impairment is highly prevalent and severely restricts functional ability and independence. Yet, there is no assistive device to help hand function at home, every day, during activities of daily living. This study addresses this gap by providing an innovative technology. The "TheraBracelet" is a wristband applying imperceptible white-noise vibration to skin. TheraBracelet is efficacious, as it has been shown to immediately improve chronic stroke survivors' touch sensation and hand dexterity in preliminary studies. TheraBracelet is affordable by using only a low-cost vibrator. TheraBracelet is also translational, because a vibrator strategically placed at the wrist does not interfere with dexterous finger motions, and it is low-risk by involving only imperceptible vibration on skin. These practicalities assure easy adoption in home environment for large impact on sensorimotor impairment. This study is to determine the feasibility and safety of using this assistive device all day every day for a month during daily activity, and to determine if TheraBracelet's instant effects are sustained during prolonged use. This objective will be accomplished in a double-blinded, randomized, controlled, crossover design study. Feasibility (compliance of using the device everyday) and safety will be assessed for the treatment condition compared to the control condition (wearing the device without vibration) through weekly evaluations. In addition, TheraBracelet's instant benefits in improving hand function will be assessed weekly. Persistence of TheraBracelet's instant benefits across all weekly evaluations will support durability (i.e. desensitization to vibration does not occur during extended daily use over a one-month period). This project is expected to lead to an assistive wristband that increases hand function during activities of daily living, thus increasing independence and quality of life and reducing caregiver burden for a large number of stroke survivors with hand impairment.
Our long term goal is to enhance the locomotion of impaired individuals after a neurological injury.
We are trying to recruit as healthy control participants, and neurologically impaired individuals (incomplete SCI and after-stroke patients) to participate in this study.
For neurologically impaired individuals a physical therapist will complete IRB approved questionnaires to measure your mobility, muscle strength, balance, walking speed, and distance.
All participants will meet with study staff who would then test your reflexes by placing some superficial skin based electrodes behind the knee and apply mild stimulation while standing/sitting.
If enrolled, you may be required to participate for 30 sessions (3 sessions/week), each lasting about one hour over a period of 3 months. Compensation is available for your participation.
You are invited to volunteer for a research study if you have been diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) within 2 years (24 Months) prior to screening.
This is a non interventional, longitudinal study in patients with ALS. There will be four (4) subject visits in this study: Baseline, month 6, month 12, and month 18. Subjects will have blood and cerebrospinal fluid (a clear fluid found in your brain and spine) collected, and be evaluated with assessment tools that focus on upper and lower motor skills and strength as well as cognitive function. Researchers will use these samples to study ALS, motor neuron disease and other medical conditions.
Aerobic exercise training has positive effects on depression severity and mood in individuals with depression. The effects of single sessions of aerobic exercise may also provide some short-term benefits in depression. It is believed that a reduction in depression severity may be facilitated by changes in the nervous system, however this has yet to be examined. Although aerobic exercise has beneficial effects for those with depression it is unclear as to why this may occur. Therefore the goal of our project is to better understand the effect of a single session of aerobic exercise on the nervous system, physiology, and mood in depression.
Reflexes are important parts of our movements. When reflexes are not working well, movements are clumsy or even impossible. After stroke, reflex responses may change. Researchers have found that people can learn to increase or decrease a reflex response with training. Recently, we have found that rats and people with partial spinal cord injuries can walk better after they are trained to change a spinal cord reflex. Thus, learning to change a reflex response may help people recover after a nervous system injury. In this study, we aim to examine whether learning to change a spinal reflex through operant conditioning training can improve movement function recovery in people after stroke or other damage to the nervous system.
Reflexes are important parts of our movements. When reflexes are not working well, movements are clumsy or even impossible. Researchers have found that people can learn to increase or decrease a reflex response with training. Recently, we have found that rats with spinal cord injuries can walk better after they are trained to change a spinal cord reflex. Thus, learning to change a reflex response may help people recover after a nervous system injury. We are currently studying effects of spinal cord reflex training (e.g., a knee jerk reflex) in people in early adulthood. We hope that the results of this study will help us develop spinal reflex training as a new treatment to help people in early adulthood recover better after spinal cord injury or other damage to the nervous system.
It is known that the pupil's response to light is abnormal in advanced Parkinson's disease. This study will explore whether signs of pupil dysfunction may be a biomarker of the presence of early Parkinson's disease (before medications are used to treat the condition.) The study will also examine a new and simplified way of measuring the pupil's response to light, using a smart phone application, to hopefully be used as a screening/tracking measure in clinical settings in the future. To complete this study, we are recruiting both healthy adults age 30-80 years old as well as individuals with early signs of Parkinson's disease that have not yet been treated with medication for this condition. The study required approximately 20-30 minutes to complete on MUSC's campus (compensation not included.)