The neuroscience of recovery and rehabilitation: What have we learned from animal research?
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OBJECTIVES: To encourage rehabilitation specialists to develop a critical approach to the animal research literature that is relevant to human neurorehabilitation and to encourage clinicians to lend their perspectives to basic research. ATA SOURCES: Scientific publications cited in MEDLINE, PubMed, and PsychInfo, and professional presentations of leading neuroscience researchers. The focus was on current publications to 2001, with historical works included when appropriate. STUDY SELECTION: Studies were selected based on their relevance to the objectives. DATA EXTRACTION: Reviewed study methodology and findings and extracted key principles relevant to rehabilitation. DATA SYNTHESIS: Many themes emerging from neuroscience research are relevant to human rehabilitation, including issues related to timing of intervention and recovery, and characteristics of nervous system plasticity. CONCLUSIONS: Although animal research has many limitations, it provides a unique window on nervous system recovery and has generated important directions for future human research. Clinician involvement in basic animal research will improve the extent to which results are relevant to human rehabilitation and recovery.
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