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Neurorehabilitation: Motor recovery after stroke as an example

Authors

  • Karunesh Ganguly MD, PhD,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Neurology and Rehabilitation, San Francisco Veterans Administration Medical Center, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA
    2. Departments of Neurology, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA
    • Address correspondence to Dr Ganguly, 127 Neurology, 4150 Clement Street, San Francisco, CA 94121. E-mail: Karunesh.Ganguly@ucsf.edu

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  • Nancy N. Byl PT, MPH, PhD,

    1. Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA
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  • Gary M. Abrams MD

    1. Department of Neurology and Rehabilitation, San Francisco Veterans Administration Medical Center, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA
    2. Departments of Neurology, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA
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Abstract

The field of neurorehabilitation aims to translate neuroscience research toward the goal of maximizing functional recovery after neurological injury. A growing body of research indicates that the fundamental principles of neurological rehabilitation are applicable to a broad range of congenital, degenerative, and acquired neurological disorders. In this perspective, we will focus on motor recovery after acquired brain injuries such as stroke. Over the past few decades, a large body of basic and clinical research has created an experimental and theoretical foundation for approaches to neurorehabilitation. Recent randomized clinical trials all emphasize the requirement for intense progressive rehabilitation programs to optimally enhance recovery. Moreover, advances in multimodal assessment of patients with neuroimaging and neurophysiological tools suggest the possibility of individualized treatment plans based on recovery potential. There are also promising indications for medical as well as noninvasive brain stimulation paradigms to facilitate recovery. Ongoing or planned clinical studies should provide more definitive evidence. We also highlight unmet needs and potential areas of research. Continued research built upon a robust experimental and theoretical foundation should help to develop novel treatments to improve recovery after neurological injury. Ann Neurol 2013;74:373–381

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