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Functional recovery in CNS disease: impact of animal models 

Functional recovery in CNS disease: impact of animal models
Functional recovery in CNS disease: impact of animal models

Steffen Franz

, Andreas Hug

, and Norbert Weidner


May 26, 2016: This chapter has been re-evaluated and remains up-to-date. No changes have been necessary.

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date: 25 July 2021

Animal models of central nervous system (CNS) diseases such as ischaemic stroke and spinal cord injury (SCI) are well suited for the analysis of tissue damage and functional impairment. Caveats, with respect to preclinically observed spontaneous or elicited functional recovery, and the extrapolation into the clinical setting, are related to the animal species, respective disease models, the administration of the therapy under investigation, and the applied outcome measures in comparison to the clinical situation. SCI and ischaemic stroke share characteristics but differ in terms of therapeutic approaches. In ischaemic stroke innovative therapy concepts aim to protect CNS tissue at risk of degeneration, whereas in SCI efforts are made to regenerate damaged spinal cord tissue and to reinstall neuronal connectivity. This chapter examines components of animal models, the integration of clinical standard therapy concepts, the precise translation of experimental therapy administration, and the transferability of chosen structural and functional readouts in preclinical disease models of stroke and SCI.

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