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Author Notes:

Correspondence should be addressed to Michael R. Borich; michael.borich@emory.edu

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.


Research Funding:

This research is supported in part by a VCU-Marquette Challenge Research Grant from the Foundation for Physical Therapy.

Michael R. Borich is supported by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and the National Center for Medical Rehabilitation Research (K12HD055931).

Jacqueline A. Palmer is supported by the American Heart Association (00035638).

Steven L. Wolf is supported by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (5U10NS086607-04).


  • Science & Technology
  • Life Sciences & Biomedicine
  • Neurosciences
  • Neurosciences & Neurology
  • EEG

Targeted Neuromodulation of Abnormal Interhemispheric Connectivity to Promote Neural Plasticity and Recovery of Arm Function after Stroke: A Randomized Crossover Clinical Trial Study Protocol


Journal Title:

Neural Plasticity


Volume 2018


, Pages 9875326-9875326

Type of Work:

Article | Final Publisher PDF


Background: Despite intensive rehabilitation efforts, most stroke survivors have persistent functional disability of the paretic arm and hand. These motor impairments may be due in part to maladaptive changes in structural and functional connections between brain regions. The following early stage clinical trial study protocol describes a noninvasive brain stimulation approach to target transcallosally mediated interhemispheric connections between the ipsi- and contralesional motor cortices (iM1 and cM1) using corticocortical paired associative stimulation (ihPAS). This clinical trial aims to characterize ihPAS-induced modulation of interhemispheric connectivity and the effect on motor skill performance and learning in chronic stroke survivors. Methods/Design: A repeated-measures, cross-over design study will recruit 20 individuals post-stroke with chronic mild-moderate paretic arm impairment. Each participant will complete an active ihPAS and control ihPAS session. Assessments of cortical excitability and motor skill performance will be conducted prior to and at four time points following the ihPAS intervention. The primary outcome measures will be: TMS-evoked interhemispheric motor connectivity, corticomotor excitability, and response time on a modified serial reaction time task. Discussion/Conclusion: The findings from this single-site early stage clinical trial will provide foundational results to inform the design of larger-scale, multisite clinical trials to evaluate the therapeutic potential of ihPAS-based neuromodulation for upper limb recovery after stroke. This trial is registered with NCT02465034.

Copyright information:

© 2018 Michael R. Borich et al.

This is an Open Access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
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