The study team is recruiting 20 adults with spasticity due to chronic stroke and 20 adults with no neurological injuries for a 2 day study. In people with chronic stroke, one of the most common and disabling problems is spasticity (increased muscle tone or muscle stiffness). The purpose of this research study is to examine effects of dry needling on the nervous system (pathways between the muscle, spinal cord, and brain) in people with spasticity due to chronic stroke. Dry needling is a procedure in which a thin, stainless steel needle is inserted into your skin to produce a muscle twitch response. It is intended to release a knot in your muscle and relieve pain.
The total study duration is 2 days. The first visit will take about 3 hours, during which dry needling will take place, and the second visit will take about 1 hour. During both visits you will be asked to participate in examinations of reflexes (muscle responses to non-invasive nerve stimulation) and arm/leg function.
After a stroke, many people experience a language impairment called aphasia. One of the most debilitating types of aphasia is non-fluent aphasia. Non-fluent aphasia is defined by significantly reduced speech production, with the speaker producing only a few words or even less. Speech entrainment therapy (SET) is a treatment that has been shown to increase fluency in people with non-fluent aphasia. Our study looks to define the best dose of SET that leads to sustained improvements in spontaneous speech production.
Participants who are eligible will undergo baseline language testing, an MRI, and will be randomized into one of 4 treatment groups: SET for 3 weeks, SET for 4.5 weeks, SET for 6 weeks, and no treatment (control group).
Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) has shown the potential to improve symptoms in patients with movement deficits, such as Parkinson's disease and chronic stroke. However, the effects of tDCS have so far not been proven on a wider scale due to lack of knowledge regarding exactly how tDCS works. This has limited the adoption of this potentially useful therapy for patients with Parkinson's disease, chronic stroke and other conditions affecting movement. We think that by studying the effect of tDCS on brain signals while subjects perform a virtual reality task that requires integration of visual and motor information we can separate out exactly what occurs in the brain when tDCS is turned on. We expect this approach to broaden our understanding of tDCS application in conditions affecting movement and possibly lead to therapeutic advances in this population.
Hand disability after stroke has a profound negative impact on functional ability and independence. Hand therapy may be augmented with sensory stimulation for better outcomes. We have developed a novel sensory stimulation - unfelt vibration applied via a wristwatch. In this study, we will determine if combining this stimulation with hand task practice is superior to hand task practice alone.
The purpose of this study is to determine if 3-dimensional finger force training is an effective tool in restoring hand function post stroke. Persons who survived a stroke 3 to 9 months ago and have a hand impairment will be eligible to participate in this study. Participants will be asked to come to the laboratory to practice controlling the finger force generation 3 times a week for 6 weeks. Participants will see their performance on a computer screen. Participants will also come to the laboratory for additional 4-7 visits for assessments of their upper extremity function. The total duration of the study will be 2.5 months.
Fatigue is a common and disabling symptom post-stroke.
Causes of post-stroke fatigue are not well known.
This study will investigate how changes in the way the brain communicates may be associated with post-stroke fatigue.
To do this the investigators will use transcranial magnetic stimulation, TMS, to measure how the brain communicates.
TMS uses a magnet that turns on parts of the brain, and researchers can measure the response by placing sensors on specific muscles in the legs.
The researchers will also measure how you walk by placing sensors on your body and having you walk on a treadmill.
The purpose of this research study is to understand how the brain communicates with the muscles in the leg in people who have sustained a stroke by using a type of brain stimulation called transcranial magnetic stimulation, or TMS. TMS has been used successfully in numerous investigations but we are not confident of which measures are best to use in those with stroke. The purpose of this study is to establish how best to collect these measures when walking ability is of primary concern. In this study participants will undergo testing while sitting comfortably, which is standard practice, and then again while standing, our experimental condition.
This study explores the use of a new form of neuromodulation known as transcutaneous auricular vagus nerve stimulation (taVNS) which stimulates the ear. This stimulation will be delivered concurrently with upper limb motor rehabilitation training (3 days/week for 4 weeks) in chronic stroke patients. Patients will undergo a series of baseline assessments (including a brain scan), a 4-week course of motor rehabilitation, and post-assessments (including a second brain scan).
The objective is to determine if continuous use of TheraBracelet in the home has a clinically meaningful effect in chronic stroke survivors. The study design is a double-blinded randomized controlled trial. We will enroll 40 chronic stroke survivors with moderate hand impairment. Subjects will be randomly assigned to the treatment or control group (n=20 per group). All subjects will wear the TheraBracelet device on the paretic wrist for 8 hours/day every day during their normal daily activity for 1 month. The device will deliver vibration (treatment) or no vibration (control). Double-blinding is possible because the treatment vibration is imperceptible (i.e., subthreshold). Measures of neural plasticity, the amount of the paretic arm use in daily living, clinical hand function, biomechanical grip control, and self-reported abilities for activities of daily living will be assessed at baseline, once a week during the month of wearing the device, and for 3-month follow-up, allowing determination of the efficacy and persistence.