Early intervention after perinatal stroke: opportunities and challenges

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Perinatal stroke is the most common cause of hemiplegic cerebral palsy. No standardized early intervention exists despite evidence for a critical time window for activity-dependent plasticity to mould corticospinal tract development in the first few years of life. Intervention during this unique period of plasticity could mitigate the consequences of perinatal stroke to an extent not possible with later intervention, by preserving the normal pattern of development of descending motor pathways. This article outlines the broad range of approaches currently under investigation. Despite significant progress in this area, improved early detection and outcome prediction remain important goals.

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