Long-Term Effects of Non-Paretic Limb Training in Mice

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Limb impairment following stroke greatly affects one's quality of life and may lead to overreliance upon the good limb. Although functionally adaptive, this compensatory reliance is thought to limit recovery of the bad limb. Previous research has established that good limb training in mice impairs recovery of the bad limb following stroke in the short term. This study extends these findings by determining that good limb use following stroke severely retards, and may prevent, functional recovery in the long term. C57BL/6 mice underwent one week of shaping procedures followed by pre-operative training on the Pasta Matrix Reaching Task to establish the motor skill prior to stroke. Following pre-operative training, unilateral stroke was induced through intracortical infusions of a vasoconstricting peptide. Mice were divided into two groups for post-operative training: one receiving control procedures and the other receiving good limb training. Following post-operative training, functionality of the bad limb was assessed for 28 days. Throughout this rehabilitative training, control mice exhibited functional recovery while impairment persisted in good limb mice. These findings suggest permanent damage to neural activity following post-stroke behavioral compensation.



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