On neural plasticity, new neurons and the postischemic milieu: An integrated view on experimental rehabilitation

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This review discusses actual and potential contributors to functional improvement after stroke injuries. Topics that will be covered are neuronal re-organization and sprouting, neural stem/progenitor cell activation and neuronal replacement, as well as the neuronal milieu defined by glia, inflammatory cells and blood vessel supply. It is well established that different types of neuronal plasticity ultimately lead to post-stroke recovery. However, an untapped potential which only recently has started to be extensively explored is neuronal replacement through endogenous or exogenous resources. Major experimental efforts are needed to achieve progress in this burgeoning area. The review stresses the importance of applying neurodevelopmental principles as well as performing a characterization of the role of the postischemic milieu when studying adult brain neural stem/progenitor cells. Integrated and multifaceted experimentation, incorporating actual and possible poststroke function modulators, will be necessary in order to determine future strategies that will ultimately enable considerable progress in the field of neurorehabilitation.

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