Is there an optimal age for recovery from motor cortex lesions? I. Behavioral and anatomical sequelae of bilateral motor cortex lesions in rats on postnatal days 1, 10, and in adulthood.
ABSTRACT Rats were given bilateral lesions of the motor cortex on the day of birth (P1), tenth day of life (P10), or in adulthood. They were trained on several motor tasks (skilled forelimb reaching, beam traversing, tongue extension), general motor activity, and a test of spatial learning (Morris water task). Although all lesion groups were impaired at skilled reaching, the P10 group was less impaired than either of the other two lesion groups. Furthermore, on the other motor tests the P10 group did not differ from controls whereas both P1 and adult groups were impaired. Only the P1 lesion group was impaired at the acquisition of the Morris water task. Anatomical analyses revealed that the P1 and P10 rats had smaller brains than the other two groups as well as having a generalized decrease in cortical thickness. Dendritic analysis of layer III pyramidal cells in the parietal cortex revealed a decrease in apical arbor in the lesion groups and an increase in the basilar arbor of the P1 and adult lesion animals. The P1 and adult operated groups showed an increase in spine density in the basilar dendrites of layer V pyramidal cells. Finally, analysis of the pattern of corticospinal projections revealed that the P1 animals had a markedly wider field of corticospinal projection neurons than any of the other groups. The widespread anatomical changes in all lesion groups versus the relatively better behavioral recovery after P10 lesions suggests that day 10 represents an optimal period for adapting to brain damage and subsequent brain reorganization.
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ABSTRACT: Thesis (M.Sc.)--University of Lethbridge, 2004. Includes bibliographical references.
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ABSTRACT: Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is predominantly a clinical problem of young persons, resulting in chronic cognitive and behavioral deficits. Specifically, the physiological response to a diffuse biomechanical injury in a maturing brain can clearly alter normal neuroplasticity. To properly evaluate and investigate developmental TBI requires an understanding of normal principles of cerebral maturation, as well as a consideration of experience-dependent changes. Changes in neuroplasticity may occur through many age-specific processes, and our understanding of these responses at a basic neuroscience level is only beginning. In this article, we will particularly discuss mechanisms of TBI-induced altered developmental plasticity such as altered neurotransmission, distinct molecular responses, cell death, perturbations in neuronal connectivity, experience-dependent 'good plasticity' enhancements and chronic 'bad plasticity' sequelae. From this summary, we can conclude that 'young is not always better' and that the developing brain manifests several crucial vulnerabilities to TBI.Developmental Neuroscience 02/2006; 28(4-5):364-79. · 3.41 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Plasticity is an intrinsic property of the central nervous system, reflecting its capacity to respond in a dynamic manner to the environment and experience via modification of neural circuitry. In the context of healthy development, plasticity is considered beneficial, facilitating adaptive change in response to environmental stimuli and enrichment, with research documenting establishment of new neural connections and modification to the mapping between neural activity and behaviour. Less is known about the impact of this plasticity in the context of the young, injured brain. This review seeks to explore plasticity processes in the context of early brain insult, taking into account historical perspectives and building on recent advances in knowledge regarding ongoing development and recovery following early brain insult, with a major emphasis on neurobehavioural domains. We were particularly interested to explore the way in which plasticity processes respond to early brain insult, the implications for functional recovery and how this literature contributes to the debate between localization of brain function and neural network models. To this end we have provided an overview of normal brain development, followed by a description of the biological mechanisms associated with the most common childhood brain insults, in order to explore an evidence base for considering the competing theoretical perspectives of early plasticity and early vulnerability. We then detail these theories and the way in which they contribute to our understanding of the consequences of early brain insult. Finally, we examine evidence that considers key factors (e.g. insult severity, age at insult, environment) that may act, either independently or synergistically, to influence recovery processes and ultimate outcome. We conclude that neither plasticity nor vulnerability theories are able to explain the range of functional outcomes from early brain insult. Rather, they represent extremes along a 'recovery continuum'. Where a child's outcome falls along this continuum depends on injury factors (severity, nature, age) and environmental influences (family, sociodemographic factors, interventions).Brain 08/2011; 134(Pt 8):2197-221. · 10.23 Impact Factor