Modulation of use-dependent plasticity by d-amphetamine

Cathrin M. Bütefisch, Benjamin C. Davis, Lumy Sawaki, Daniel Waldvogel, Joseph Classen, Leonid Kopylev, Leonardo G. Cohen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

158 Scopus citations


Use-dependent plasticity, thought to contribute to functional recovery after brain injury, is elicited by motor training. The purpose of this study was to determine if administration of d-amphetamine facilitates the effects of motor training on use-dependent plasticity. Healthy human volunteers underwent a training period of voluntary thumb movements under the effects of placebo or d-amphetamine in different sessions in a randomized double-blind, counterbalanced design. Previous work in a drug-naive condition showed that such training causes changes in the direction of thumb movements evoked by transcranial magnetic stimulation and in transcranial magnetic stimulation-evoked electromyographic responses. The endpoint measure of the study was the magnitude of training-induced changes in transcranial magnetic stimulation-evoked kinematic and electromyographic responses in the d-amphetamine and in the placebo conditions. Motor training resulted in increased magnitude, faster development and longer lasting duration of use-dependent plasticity under d-amphetamine compared to the placebo session. These results document a facilitatory effect of d-amphetamine on use-dependent plasticity, a possible mechanism mediating the beneficial effect of this drug on functional recovery after cortical lesions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)59-68
Number of pages10
JournalAnnals of Neurology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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