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J Hand Ther. 2013 Apr-Jun;26(2):87-92; quiz 93. doi: 10.1016/j.jht.2012.12.009. Epub 2013 Feb 4.

Neural plasticity and implications for hand rehabilitation after neurological insult.

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Department of Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation Science, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21201, USA.


Experience dependent plasticity refers to ability of the brain to adapt to new experiences by changing its structure and function. The purpose of this paper is to provide a brief review the neurophysiological and structural correlates of neural plasticity that occur during and following motor learning. We also consider that the extent of plastic reorganization is dependent upon several key principals and that the resulting behavioral consequences can be adaptive or maladaptive. In light of this research, we conclude that an increased understanding of the complexities of brain plasticity will translate into enhanced treatment opportunities for the clinician to optimize hand function.

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