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Animal models of damage, repair, and plasticity in the spinal cord 

Animal models of damage, repair, and plasticity in the spinal cord
Chapter:
Animal models of damage, repair, and plasticity in the spinal cord
Author(s):

V. Reggie Edgerton

, Roland R. Roy

, Daniel C. Lu

, and Yury Gerasimenko

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199673711.003.0013

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

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date: 01 December 2020

Sensorimotor function can improve for years, even after a spinal cord injury (SCI). We also know that an effective intervention that can improve motor function is re-engagement of the spinal neural networks and that this regularity in re-engagement is fundamental to learning within the activated sensorimotor circuits. Several interventions have been developed allowing individuals with a SCI to re-engage sensorimotor circuits. These interventions enable spinal neural circuits to neuromodulatethe level of excitability closer to a near motor threshold state.This is because of the built-in level of automaticity within the spinal circuits that then is translated into motor commands specified by the sensory input. Another increasingly apparent feature of the spinal circuitry is the highly integrated nature of multiple physiological systems linked to load bearing sensory input. Thus it is clear that multiple physiological systems are highly responsive to activity-dependent interventions after a severe SCI and that this responsiveness can persist for years post-injury.

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