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Research Abstracts Online
January - December 2011

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University of Minnesota Twin Cities
Medical School
Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

PI: James R. Carey

Pediatric Hemiplegia: Synergistic Treatment Using RTMS and CIT

Paralysis following stroke stems not only from the loss of neurons killed by the stroke but also from the loss of neurons lying dormant in the stroke hemisphere. One of the reasons viable neurons become dormant (down-regulated) is because of excessive interhemispheric inhibition imposed on them from the nonstroke hemisphere. Suppression of the source of this excessive interhemispheric inhibition can be achieved with the noninvasive method called repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS). The specific aims of this study are to determine the efficacy, mechanism, and safety of a series of 5 treatments of 6-Hz primed low-frequency rTMS applied to nonstroke hemisphere and combined with motor learning training to promote recovery of the paretic hand. Forty subjects with stroke will be randomly assigned to one of four treatment groups; rTMS-only, Track-only, rTMS-sham, and rTMS-combined. The hypotheses are: the rTMS/combined group will show the greatest improvements in hand function; and the rTMS/combined group will show the greatest improvements in cortical excitability using paired-pulse TMS testing and in brain reorganization measured with resting state functional MRI (rfMRI) and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI). Computationally intensive tasks, including pre- and post-processing of these imaging data, require the supercomputers in order to progress our work in a reasonable time frame.

Group Members

Jessica Margaret Cassidy, Graduate Student
Huiqiong Deng, Graduate Student
Chiahao Lu, Graduate Student
Ryan L. Muetzel, Staff