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Dopaminergic Modulation of Cognition and Psychomotor Function

This study has been completed.
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Maastricht University Medical Center Identifier:
First received: September 22, 2010
Last updated: October 24, 2012
Last verified: October 2012

A recent study at our lab showed increased episodic memory consolidation and response readiness after treatment with methylphenidate in healthy volunteers. The investigators seek to replicate and extend these findings. Furthermore the pharmacological specificity of these effects will be studied. Since methylphenidate has an effect on two neurotransmitters, dopamine and noradrenaline, either could be responsible for the observed effects. In order to explore the dopaminergic contribution to this effect, the study proposed here includes not only methylphenidate but also levodopa/carbidopa, which only affects dopamine and not noradrenaline.

In this study, 20 healthy males and females between 18 and 45 years of age will participate. They will be recruited via advertisements at Maastricht University and in local newspapers.

Participants will be treated once with methylphenidate, once with levodopa/carbidopa and once with placebo. All medications will be administered orally with a capsule.

It is hypothesized that methylphenidate and levodopa/carbidopa will both enhance episodic memory consolidation and improve response readiness

Condition Intervention
Dopamine Activity
Episodic Memory Consolidation
Response Preparation
Drug: Methylphenidate 40 mg
Drug: Levodopa/carbidopa 125 mg
Drug: Domperidon 10 mg

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Endpoint Classification: Pharmacokinetics/Dynamics Study
Intervention Model: Crossover Assignment
Masking: Double Blind (Subject, Investigator)
Primary Purpose: Basic Science
Official Title: Dopaminergic Modulation of Cognition and Psychomotor Function

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by Maastricht University Medical Center:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • Behavioral score on the Word learning test [ Time Frame: 1 day ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]
    Number of words recalled in the word learning test

Secondary Outcome Measures:
  • CNV amplitude [ Time Frame: 1 day ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]
    Amplitude of the CNV wave in the EEG

  • Reaction time on the CNV [ Time Frame: 1 day ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]
    Reaction time in the response preparation task in which CNV is measured

Enrollment: 20
Study Start Date: November 2010
Study Completion Date: June 2012
Primary Completion Date: June 2012 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Arms Assigned Interventions
Experimental: Medication
In this study, a crossover design is applied. All participants receive all three treatments in randomized order on separate days.
Drug: Methylphenidate 40 mg
Oral dose 40 mg
Other Name: Ritalin RVG 03957
Drug: Levodopa/carbidopa 125 mg
oral dose, 100 mg levodopa, 25 mg carbidopa in one capsule
Other Name: Sinemet RVG08740
Drug: Domperidon 10 mg
Domperidon 10 mg
Other Name: Domperidon RVG 23565


Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years to 45 Years
Genders Eligible for Study:   Both
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Male or female
  • 18 to 45 years of age
  • Healthy (i.e. absence of all exclusion criteria), normal static binocular acuity (corrected or uncorrected),
  • Body mass index between 18.5 and 30
  • Willingness to sign an informed consent.

Exclusion Criteria:

  • history of cardiac, hepatic, renal, pulmonary, neurological, gastrointestinal, haematological or psychiatric illness.
  • history of depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety disorder, panic disorder, psychosis, or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder will be excluded from participation.
  • first-degree relative with a psychiatric disorder or a history with a psychiatric disorder
  • excessive drinking (>20 glasses of alcohol containing beverages a week
  • pregnancy or lactation
  • use of medication other than oral contraceptives
  • use of recreational drugs from 2 weeks before until the end of the experiment
  • any condition in which gastrointestinal motility might carry any risk
  • any sensory or motor deficits which could reasonably be expected to affect test performance
  Contacts and Locations
Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the Contacts provided below. For general information, see Learn About Clinical Studies.

Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT01218425

Maastricht University
Maastricht, Limburg, Netherlands, 6200
Sponsors and Collaborators
Maastricht University Medical Center
Principal Investigator: Eric Vuurman, Dr. Dept Neuropsychology and Psychopharmacology, Maastricht University
  More Information

No publications provided

Responsible Party: Maastricht University Medical Center Identifier: NCT01218425     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: 10-3-056
Study First Received: September 22, 2010
Last Updated: October 24, 2012
Health Authority: Netherlands: The Central Committee on Research Involving Human Subjects (CCMO)

Keywords provided by Maastricht University Medical Center:
episodic memory
contingent negative variation
response preparation

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Dopamine Agents
Dopamine Agonists
Anti-Dyskinesia Agents
Antiparkinson Agents
Autonomic Agents
Central Nervous System Agents
Central Nervous System Stimulants
Dopamine Antagonists
Dopamine Uptake Inhibitors
Enzyme Inhibitors
Gastrointestinal Agents
Molecular Mechanisms of Pharmacological Action
Neurotransmitter Agents
Neurotransmitter Uptake Inhibitors
Peripheral Nervous System Agents
Pharmacologic Actions
Physiological Effects of Drugs
Therapeutic Uses processed this record on November 20, 2014