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13 - Plasticity in the injured spinal cord

from Section A3 - Plasticity after injury to the CNS

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 March 2012

Serge Rossignol
Affiliation:
Department of Physiology, Centre for Research in Neurological Sciences, Universite de Montreal, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Michael Selzer
Affiliation:
University of Pennsylvania
Stephanie Clarke
Affiliation:
Université de Lausanne, Switzerland
Leonardo Cohen
Affiliation:
National Institute of Mental Health, Bethesda, Maryland
Pamela Duncan
Affiliation:
University of Florida
Fred Gage
Affiliation:
Salk Institute for Biological Studies, San Diego
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Summary

Introduction

This chapter is devoted to mechanisms of spinal cord plasticity in animal models as revealed by the recovery of motor functions after a spinal lesion. It will be shown that in cats, rats and mice, motor programs such as locomotion are re-expressed after a complete spinal transection at the low-thoracic level. This suggests that the main neural networks at the basis of these motor programs reside in the spinal cord. Direct evidence for the operation of these circuits as well as cellular properties implicated will be surveyed. On the other hand, modifications of these motor programs by sensory inputs, training and pharmacological stimulation suggest that some of the control mechanisms have some degree of plasticity. Obviously, supraspinal structures normally play a crucial role in the purposeful goal-orienting control of these spinal pattern generators. The deficits observed after complete or partial spinal lesions of ventral/ventrolateral or dorsolateral tracts reveal indeed these important roles. Altogether, these observations lead to the important concept that complex motor functions such as locomotion are largely subserved by intrinsic spinal mechanisms under segmental and suprasegmental controls that are plastic enough to justify the use of rehabilitation approaches to optimize functional locomotor recovery after spinal lesions. Figure 13.1 schematizes the principal structures and mechanisms that will be discussed in this chapter. For related discussions, see Volume I, Chapters 7 and 30, and Volume II, Chapters 3 and 19.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2006

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  • Plasticity in the injured spinal cord
    • By Serge Rossignol, Department of Physiology, Centre for Research in Neurological Sciences, Universite de Montreal, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
  • Edited by Michael Selzer, University of Pennsylvania, Stephanie Clarke, Université de Lausanne, Switzerland, Leonardo Cohen, National Institute of Mental Health, Bethesda, Maryland, Pamela Duncan, University of Florida, Fred Gage, Salk Institute for Biological Studies, San Diego
  • Book: Textbook of Neural Repair and Rehabilitation
  • Online publication: 05 March 2012
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511545061.016
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  • Plasticity in the injured spinal cord
    • By Serge Rossignol, Department of Physiology, Centre for Research in Neurological Sciences, Universite de Montreal, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
  • Edited by Michael Selzer, University of Pennsylvania, Stephanie Clarke, Université de Lausanne, Switzerland, Leonardo Cohen, National Institute of Mental Health, Bethesda, Maryland, Pamela Duncan, University of Florida, Fred Gage, Salk Institute for Biological Studies, San Diego
  • Book: Textbook of Neural Repair and Rehabilitation
  • Online publication: 05 March 2012
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511545061.016
Available formats
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Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • Plasticity in the injured spinal cord
    • By Serge Rossignol, Department of Physiology, Centre for Research in Neurological Sciences, Universite de Montreal, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
  • Edited by Michael Selzer, University of Pennsylvania, Stephanie Clarke, Université de Lausanne, Switzerland, Leonardo Cohen, National Institute of Mental Health, Bethesda, Maryland, Pamela Duncan, University of Florida, Fred Gage, Salk Institute for Biological Studies, San Diego
  • Book: Textbook of Neural Repair and Rehabilitation
  • Online publication: 05 March 2012
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511545061.016
Available formats
×