Effects of traditional and modified rehabilitation on functional improvement following stroke in a mouse model

Graduation Year


Publication Date

Spring 2022


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Stroke is the leading cause of disability worldwide, with increasing prevalence every year. It is imperative to seek improvements in effective rehabilitation to regain and preserve function in affected limbs. Current human rehabilitation often focuses on compensatory training of the unimpaired limb in order to return to independent daily activities. One way to investigate rehabilitative strategies is through the use of animal models. Mice have been useful models for identifying effective methods for stroke rehabilitation because of their digit representation in the motor cortex. Animal rehabilitation has been shown to generate significant improvement in ability to reach pre-operative performance levels of the impaired limb. The current study aimed to determine if there were any beneficial effects to training the paretic limb in two short daily sessions as opposed to one longer session. Mice were trained for 35 days pre-operatively and then received a unilateral photothrombotic stroke. Post-operatively, mice either received traditional training (100 reaches or 15 minutes daily), modified training (50 reaches or 15 minutes twice daily), or no rehabilitative training (control). Recovery was assessed at the end of each week of post-operative training using identical methods for all groups. Results indicate that lower intensity modified training may be as effective as traditional training.


Biology | Neuroscience and Neurobiology

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