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Curr Opin Neurobiol. 2009 Dec;19(6):587-600. doi: 10.1016/j.conb.2009.10.005. Epub 2009 Nov 5.

Strategies to restore motor functions after spinal cord injury.

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  • 1Laboratoire Plasticit√© et Physio-Pathologie de Motricit√© (UMR6196), Centre National de Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) & Aix-Marseille Universit√©, CNRS, 31 chemin Joseph Aiguier, F-13402 Marseille cx 20, France.


This review presents recent advances in the development of strategies to restore posture and locomotion after spinal cord injury (SCI). A set of strategies focusing on the lesion site includes prevention of secondary damages, promotion of axonal sprouting/regeneration, and replacement of lost cells. Other strategies focus on spinal central pattern generators (CPGs). Training promotes functional recovery by enhancing the plasticity of CPGs and these sublesional networks can be reactivated by means of pharmacological or electrical stimulation. It is now clear that substantial functional recovery will require a combination of strategies adapted to each phase following SCI. Finally, improvements in the understanding of the mechanisms underlying spasticity may lead to new treatments of this disabling complication affecting patients with SCI.

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