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Author Notes:

Andrew J. Butler: Email: andrewjohnbutler@gmail.com Academic Editor: Ching-Yi Wu

The authors gratefully thank the therapists, coordinators, and research assistants (Pawan Basati, Dionne Middlebrooks, Erin O'Hara, David Wu, and Kimberly Richards) for invaluable work during data collection and analysis.

The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.

The authors certify that no party having a direct interest in the results of the research supporting this paper has or will confer a benefit on them or on any organization with which the authors are associated and if applicable they also certify that all financial and material support for this research (e.g., NIH, VA, or NHS grants) and work are clearly identified in the title page of the paper.


Research Funding:

This work was supported by the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences of the National Institutes of Health under Award no. UL1TR000454.

Randomized, Placebo-Controlled, Double-Blind Pilot Study of D-Cycloserine in Chronic Stroke.


Journal Title:

Rehabilitation Research and Practice


Volume 2015


, Pages 534239-534239

Type of Work:

Article | Final Publisher PDF


Stroke is a leading cause of death and disability in the USA. Up to 60% of patients do not fully recover despite intensive physical therapy treatment. N-Methyl-D-aspartate receptors (NMDA-R) have been shown to play a role in synaptic plasticity when activated. D-Cycloserine promotes NMDA receptor function by binding to receptors with unoccupied glycine sites. These receptors are involved in learning and memory. We hypothesized that D-cycloserine, when combined with robotic-assisted physiotherapy (RAP), would result in greater gains compared with placebo + RAP in stroke survivors. Participants (n = 14) were randomized to D-cycloserine plus RAP or placebo plus RAP. Functional, cognitive, and quality-of-life measures were used to assess recovery. There was significant improvement in grip strength of the affected hand within both groups from baseline to 3 weeks (95% confidence interval for mean change, 3.95 ± 2.96 to 4.90 ± 3.56 N for D-cycloserine and 5.72 ± 3.98 to 8.44 ± 4.90 N for control). SIS mood domain showed improvement for both groups (95% confidence interval for mean change, 72.6 ± 16.3 to 82.9 ± 10.9 for D-cycloserine and 82.9 ± 13.5 to 90.3 ± 9.9 for control). This preliminary study does not provide evidence that D-cycloserine can provide greater gains in learning compared with placebo for stroke survivors.

Copyright information:

© 2015 Andrew J. Butler et al.

This is an Open Access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/).

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