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Animal models of damage, repair, and plasticity in the brain 

Animal models of damage, repair, and plasticity in the brain
Animal models of damage, repair, and plasticity in the brain

Andreas Luft


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

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date: 29 July 2021

Recovery after a stroke is a multidimensional process depending on the individual deficit. Within each functional domain, spontaneous recovery occurs to a variable degree and can be improved by specific neurorehabilitative interventions. The knowledge about the neurophysiology of the processes that lead to recovery and render neurorehabilitative interventions effective is scarce. Such knowledge, however, would be necessary to find new treatments that can fully exploit the brain’s capacity for recovery. Animal models can be an experimental platform to investigate these mechanisms. But it has to be realized that they oversimplify the human condition. The complexity of motor, cognitive, social, emotional, and other factors contributing to recovery in humans cannot be modelled in animals. The opportunities and caveats of animal models are discussed.

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