Identifying and Treating Arousal Related Deficits in Neglect and Dysphagia

23:15 EDT 21st October 2014 | BioPortfolio

Summary

The purpose of this study is to examine how stroke can alter arousal, alertness, neglect and dysphagia, and whether a medication, modafinil, can improve arousal.

Description

Neglect and dysphagia are two of the most problematic behavioral disorders encountered in stroke rehabilitation with 300,000 patients affected annually in the US. Both disorders impede progress in therapy and both lead to costly medical complications, like falls which are associated with neglect and aspiration pneumonia and malnutrition which are associated with dysphagia. No widely accepted pharmacological treatment exists for either disorder.

A new direction of this application is to view neglect and dysphagia as different disorders that share a common deficit in magnitude estimation (ME). ME refers to one's ability to perceive the intensity of sensory stimulation. Deficits in ME explain how much of a stimulus is neglected by stroke patients. Sensory deficits are also known to produce dysphagia. Perceptual deficits influence how patients response to stimuli like failing to act on all stimuli present (neglect) and failing to generate swallowing reflexes sufficient for normal bolus flow (dysphagia).

We know from previous work that ME is altered by change in cortical arousal following stroke (decreased or hypoarousal). Hypoarousal is evidenced by objective and subjective post-stroke fatigue and daytime sleepiness which occurs in 50% of stroke patients and can persist chronically. Increasing arousal could potentially reverse the perceptual deficits associated with hypoarousal and improve neglect and dysphagia. This proposal manipulates arousal in two ways. Cold pressor stimulation, immersing the foot in cold water for 50 seconds, is used to increase arousal and reverse neglect and dysphagia temporarily. A brief, 3-day trial of modafinil (Provigil) versus placebo is then used in stroke patients to learn if a positive response to cold-pressor stimulation can predicts patients who respond positively to modafinil.

Study Design

Allocation: Randomized, Control: Placebo Control, Endpoint Classification: Safety/Efficacy Study, Intervention Model: Crossover Assignment, Masking: Double Blind (Subject, Investigator), Primary Purpose: Treatment

Conditions

Neglect

Intervention

Modafinil, Placebo

Location

Conway Regional Rehabilitation Hospital
Conway
Arkansas
United States
72035

Status

Recruiting

Source

University of Arkansas

Results (where available)

View Results

Links

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Medical and Biotech [MESH] Definitions

Misunderstanding among individuals, frequently research subjects, of scientific methods such as randomization and placebo controls.

Cognitive disorders characterized by an impaired ability to perceive the nature of objects or concepts through use of the sense organs. These include spatial neglect syndromes, where an individual does not attend to visual, auditory, or sensory stimuli presented from one side of the body.

An effect usually, but not necessarily, beneficial that is attributable to an expectation that the regimen will have an effect, i.e., the effect is due to the power of suggestion.

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