Brain Neurorehabil.  2008 Mar;1(1):6-11. 10.12786/bn.2008.1.1.6.

Mechanism of Neurolasticity after Brain Injury and Neurorehabilitation

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Division for Neurorehabilitation, Stroke and Cerebrovascular Center, Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Korea. yunkim@skku.edu

Abstract

Recent studies show central nervous system (CNS) can modify its structure and function in response to different stimuli from the environment although it has limited capacity to regenerate itself. This ability is defined as neuroplasticity. Neuroplasticity is the main mechanism of recovery after brain injury, which is related with long term potentiation/depression, synaptic plasticity, growth of dendritic spine, neurotrophines, and neuromodulators. Functional neuroimaging technique including positron emission tomography (PET), single photon emission computerized tomography (SPECT) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) can visualize the evidence of neuroplasticity and reorganization of neural network at the system level. Researches demonstrated the evidences of intrahemispheric and interhemispheric reorganizations accompanied with the functional recovery following various brain injuries using functional neuroimaging. Functional imaging technique can also contribute to evaluate the effect of rehabilitation in the clinical setting. Recently, noninvasive brain stimulation such as transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) or transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) were extensively investigated as the new strategies of enhancing neural plasticity. Neurorehabilitation may invite further studies to validate the effect of these emerging therapeutic methods in future.

Keyword

neuroplasticity; neurorehabilitation; functional neuroimaging; noninvasive brain stimulation
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