Effects of Exercise and Good Limb Training on Functional Outcome Following Stroke in C57BL/7 Mice

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Stroke is the leading cause of long-term disability in the United States, making research on rehabilitation imperative. Stroke rehabilitation typically focuses on recovery of the bad limb, although this process is tedious. Compensatory use of the good limb after stroke is more efficient, but it is known to negatively impact the bad limb. Exercise may help with this problem; research has shown that exercise promotes neuronal growth and prevents cell death. This study used mice to investigate whether exercise after stroke could prevent deterioration of the bad limb despite compensatory training of the good limb. Results showed that mice that exercised, with or without good limb training, retained bad limb functionality. Mice that did not exercise did not retain bad limb abilities and displayed poor recovery of the bad limb with delayed rehabilitative training. These findings suggest that exercise can prevent the deterioration of bad limb function that is typically seen with good limb use.



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