Hamdan Medical Journal (previously the Journal of Medical Sciences)

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Molecular and cellular aspects of plasticity after neural injury

Y S Chan, L. W. Chen, K. K. L. Yung, D. K. Y. Shum
Published in : Journal of Medical Sciences ; Vol 1, No 2 (2008)
DOI : 10.2174/1996327000801020033


This review focuses on our effort to address plasticity of the nervous system after neural injury. We have used different animal models to examine cellular mechanisms of plasticity underlying the pathological and repair processes. After severance of sensory input from one inner ear, topographic representations of spacecentered coordinates in the brain undergo plastic changes. During vestibular compensation, tissue plasticity constitutes an important component for functional recovery of neuronal network. In Parkinsonian animals, modulation of signaling via glutamatergic synapses, neurotrophins and neurokinins contributes to the protection of basal ganglion neurons from degeneration, thereby delaying deterioration of motor functions. With the use of animal models of neural injury, we further overcome the molecular restriction at the glial scar to enhance neural regrowth and remyelination, pointing to the possibility of developing new therapeutic strategies to stimulate neural plasticity and repair in the adult nervous system.

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