Plasticity during stroke recovery: from synapse to behaviour

Nat Rev Neurosci. 2009 Dec;10(12):861-72. doi: 10.1038/nrn2735. Epub 2009 Nov 4.


Reductions in blood flow to the brain of sufficient duration and extent lead to stroke, which results in damage to neuronal networks and the impairment of sensation, movement or cognition. Evidence from animal models suggests that a time-limited window of neuroplasticity opens following a stroke, during which the greatest gains in recovery occur. Plasticity mechanisms include activity-dependent rewiring and synapse strengthening. The challenge for improving stroke recovery is to understand how to optimally engage and modify surviving neuronal networks, to provide new response strategies that compensate for tissue lost to injury.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain Ischemia / physiopathology
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Humans
  • Learning / physiology
  • Neuronal Plasticity / physiology*
  • Recovery of Function
  • Stroke / physiopathology*
  • Stroke / psychology*
  • Synapses / physiology*