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The role of neuroimaging in understanding the impact of neuroplasticity after CNS damage 

The role of neuroimaging in understanding the impact of neuroplasticity after CNS damage
Chapter:
The role of neuroimaging in understanding the impact of neuroplasticity after CNS damage
Author(s):

Nick Ward

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199673711.003.0015

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

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date: 03 December 2020

After stroke, there is little restitution of neural tissue, but reorganization of surviving neural networks appears to be important for recovery of function. Non-invasive techniques such as functional magnetic resonance imaging and magnetoencephalography allow some aspects of this brain reorganization to be studied. For example, early after stroke there appears to be an upregulation in task-related activity, which diminishes with time and recovery. Those with the most complete recovery tend to have the most ‘normal’ activation pattern, and those with less complete recovery tend to rely on additional brain regions. This reorganization is functionally relevant. Advances in functional neuroimaging allow the study of alterations in connections between brain regions. Understanding how brain organization is related to anatomical damage, as well as impairment and recovery that can take place over weeks and months following stroke opens the way for functional brain imaging to become a clinically useful tool in rehabilitation.

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