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Exp Neurol. 2012 May;235(1):91-9. doi: 10.1016/j.expneurol.2011.02.009. Epub 2011 Feb 17.

Rehabilitative training and plasticity following spinal cord injury.

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Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada.


Rehabilitative training is currently one of the most successful treatments to promote functional recovery following spinal cord injury. Nevertheless, there are many unanswered questions including the most effective and beneficial design, and the mechanisms underlying the training effects on motor recovery. Furthermore, rehabilitative training will certainly be combined with pharmacological treatments developed to promote the "repair" of the injured spinal cord. Thus, insight into training-induced mechanisms will be of great importance to fine tune such combined treatments. In this review we address current challenges of rehabilitative training and mechanisms involved in promoting motor recovery with the focus on animal models. These challenges suggest that although rehabilitative training appears to be a relatively straight forward treatment approach, more research is needed to optimize its effect on functional outcome in order to enhance our chances of success when combining pharmacological treatments promoting axonal growth and rehabilitative training in the clinic.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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