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date: 02 July 2022

Plastic Changes After Spinal Cord Injurylocked

Plastic Changes After Spinal Cord Injurylocked

  • Kaitlin Farrell, Kaitlin FarrellDrexel University, Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy
  • Megan R. DetloffMegan R. DetloffDrexel University, Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy
  •  and John D. HouleJohn D. HouleDrexel University, Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy

Summary

Spinal cord injury has instantaneous, destructive effects on bodily functions, as readily demonstrated by muscle paralysis and non-responsiveness to sensory stimulation. This primary response has underlying features at molecular, cellular, tissue and organ levels which will, in a relatively brief time, initiate a secondary cascade of events that exacerbates the extent of the primary focus of damage. Interestingly, the initial extent of motor and sensory loss often is followed by limited, but significant spontaneous functional recovery. Recovery may be due to intrinsic central pattern generators such as for locomotion, the uncovering of dormant anatomical and physiological pathways such as the crossed phrenic for respiration, or to the sprouting of undamaged axons within the spinal cord to establish new connections around or across the injury site. Together the responses to injury and spontaneous efforts for repair represent plastic changes in the central nervous system (CNS) that may result in meaningful functional outcomes, though aberrant sprouting is a possible negative consequence of neuroplasticity that lends caution to the desire for extensive but uncontrolled sprouting.

Subjects

  • Molecular and Cellular Systems

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