Novel treatments for inducing cortical plasticity and functional restitution following motor cortex stroke

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Silasi, Gergely
University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Arts and Science
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Lethbridge, Alta. : University of Lethbridge, Faculty of Arts and Science, 2005
Stroke remains a leading cause of disability in the western world, with symptoms ranging in severity from mild congnitive or motor impairments, to severe impairments in both cognitive and motor domains. Despite ongoing research aimed at helping stroke patients the disease cannot be prevented or cured, therefore a large body of research has been aimed at identifying effective rehabilitative strategies. Based on our understanding of normal brain function, and the meachanisms mediating the limited spontaneous recovery that is observed following injury, factors that promote brain plasticity are likely to be effective treatments for stroke symptoms. The current thesis investigated three novel treatments (COX-2 inhibitor drug, vitamin supplement diet, and social experience) in a rat model of focal ischemia in the motor cortex. All three treatments have been previously shown to alter plasticity in the normal brain, however the current experiments show that the treatments have differential effects following stroke. The COX-2 inhibitors provided limited improvement in functional performance, whereas the vitamin supplement treatment had no effect. Social experience on the other hand was found to block the usually observed spontaneous improvements following the stroke. These results suggest that factors that alter dendritic plasticity may in fact serve as effective stroke treatments depending on the site and the mechanisms whereby the plastic changes are induced.
ix, 149 leaves : ill. ; 29 cm.
Dissertations, Academic , Cerebrovascular disease -- Animal models , Cerebrovascular disease -- Research , Cerebrovascular disease -- Treatment , Motor ability -- Research , Rats as laboratory animals