VERIFY will validate biomarkers of upper extremity (UE) motor outcome in the acute ischemic stroke window for immediate use in clinical trials, and explore these biomarkers in acute intracerebral hemorrhage. VERIFY will create the first multicenter, large-scale, prospective dataset of clinical, transmagnetic stimulation (TMS), and MRI measures in the acute stroke time window.
Currently, 7 million US stroke survivors have significant disability, more than half with residual motor deficits. Motor function, particularly of the upper extremity (UE), is critical for regaining independence after stroke. UE function largely depends on integrity of motor cortex and its descending fibers, collectively termed the corticomotor system (CMS). Validated, clinically relevant biomarkers that identify biologically distinct patient subgroups are critically needed, particularly for the often affected and functionally important CMS. Their absence is a major obstacle to developing and personalizing new recovery therapies, especially in the early days poststroke.
Presence or absence of motor evoked potential (MEP) responses to TMS and extent of MRI-measured acute lesion load involving corticospinal tract (CST) are ready for formal validation. Also, the Predict Recovery Potential (PREP)-2 prediction tool, which sequentially combines acute clinical information and MEP status, is primed for multi-site validation.
The central objective is to validate the most biologically relevant and primed biomarkers of 90-day UE motor outcomes after ischemic stroke in the first large-scale, prospective, acute dataset of clinical, TMS, and MRI measures. The central hypothesis is that patients have different UE outcomes depending on CMS function measured with TMS, and on CST injury measured with MRI.
The specific aims are:
- to externally validate the relationships that TMS and MRI biomarkers of CMS integrity have with 90-day UE motor impairment outcome and
- to externally validate the PREP2 prediction tool to predict 90- day UE functional outcome. The study will also explore these biomarkers in acute intracerebral hemorrhage.
The study will comprehensively measure UE outcomes 90 days post-stroke in three domains of motor performance -impairment, function, and use - identified by the World Health Organization International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health.
By establishing biomarkers for use in the acute stroke period to identify patient subgroups with distinct 90-day outcomes, the study will improve the efficiency of stroke recovery trials and inform rehabilitation decision-making.
Sample Size: 657 participants: 557 with ischemic stroke and 100 with intracerebral hemorrhage (exploratory cohort) enrolled at up to 35 sites.
Trial Status: VERIFY received formal FDA IDE approval in November 2020 and received NIH funding in September 2021. Participating sites from the United States have been identified, and the study is now enrolling eligible participants.