Experience dependent plasticity of stroke outcome

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Rakai, Brooke D.
University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Arts and Science
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Lethbridge, Alta. : University of Lethbridge, Dept. of Neuroscience, c2008
Stroke outcome is highly variable. Experiments in this thesis test the hypothesis that experience prior to a stroke is an important variable in the manifestation of stroke. Optokinetic tracking was used to evaluate the effects of visual cortex stroke and MCA occlusion in rats. Normal laboratory rats showed a small, but significant decrease in tracking thresholds following visual cortex stroke. Animals with developmental visuomotor experience or reach training experience in adulthood, however, had tracking thresholds which were substantially increased, and the effects of visual cortex strokes were greater. MCA occlusions did not affect tracking behaviour. These data indicate that specific experiences engage neural plasticity that can alter brain function. These changes can, in turn, affect the behavioural manifestation of a stroke. Understanding the effect that environmental experience has on stroke outcome promises to enable better characterization of strokes, and set appropriate behavioural baselines for the measurement of recovery of function.
vi, 135 p. : ill. ; 29 cm
Cerebrovascular disease , Cerebrovascular disease -- Animal models , Cerebrovascular disease -- Research , Neuroplasticity , Neuroplasticity -- Research , Neuroplasticity -- Animal models , Rats as laboratory animals , Dissertations, Academic