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.
Andrew J. Butler, Justiss Kallos, Stephen N. Housley, Michelle C. LaPlaca, Stephen F. Traynelis, and Steven L. Wolf, “Randomized, Placebo-Controlled, Double-Blind Pilot Study of D-Cycloserine in Chronic Stroke,”Rehabilitation Research and Practice, vol. 2015, Article ID 534239, 14 pages, 2015. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2015/5342
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