Using Real-time fMRI Neurofeedback and Motor Imagery to Enhance Motor Timing and Precision in Cerebellar Ataxia

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Johns Hopkins University

Status

Completed

Conditions

Spinocerebellar Ataxias
Cerebellar Degeneration
Cerebellar Ataxia

Treatments

Behavioral: At-home therapy
Device: Neurofeedback treatment

Study type

Interventional

Funder types

Other
NIH

Identifiers

NCT05436262
R21NS125546 (U.S. NIH Grant/Contract)
IRB00300264

Details and patient eligibility

About

The aim of the research is to improve motor function in people with cerebellar ataxia by using neuroimaging methods and mental imagery to "exercise" motor networks in the brain. The relevance of this research to public health is that results have the potential to reduce motor deficits associated with cerebellar atrophy, thereby enhancing the quality of life and promoting independence.

Enrollment

21 patients

Sex

All

Ages

18 to 100 years old

Volunteers

No Healthy Volunteers

Inclusion criteria

  • 18-100 years of age
  • At least 8th-grade education
  • Right-handedness
  • Clinical diagnosis of progressive, degenerative cerebellar ataxia by a movement disorder specialist (cerebellar ataxia of unknown etiology, and spinocerebellar ataxias with and without genetic confirmation)

Exclusion criteria

  • History of Axis I psychiatric disorders (including alcohol and drug dependence)
  • Severe or unstable medical disorder, neurological disorders, such as stroke or epilepsy
  • History of head injury that resulted in a loss of consciousness greater than 5 minutes and/or neurological sequelae
  • Any condition that is contraindicated for the MRI environment (e.g., metal in the body, pacemaker, claustrophobia)
  • Currently pregnant
  • Clinical diagnosis of multiple system atrophy (MSA) or Friedrich's ataxia (FA)
  • Eligible subjects may be asked to refrain from medications that affect the central nervous system that would also make data difficult to interpret (e.g., sedatives) for an appropriate period of time prior to scanning
  • Participants will be excluded if the participants do not have a home computer with internet available to complete the 3-week at-home component of the study protocol

Trial design

Primary purpose

Basic Science

Allocation

Randomized

Interventional model

Factorial Assignment

Masking

None (Open label)

21 participants in 2 patient groups

Real time neurofeedback with task
Other group
Description:
Participants will undergo a real-time fMRI scan during which two distinct tasks will be performed.
Treatment:
Device: Neurofeedback treatment
Overt tapping and/or motor imagery practice
Other group
Description:
Participants will undergo an overt tapping task at baseline. Participants are assigned to a group where the participants will then perform respective motor and/or imagery tasks at home for 3 weeks.
Treatment:
Behavioral: At-home therapy

Trial contacts and locations

1

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Central trial contact

Cherie Marvel, PhD

Data sourced from clinicaltrials.gov

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