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Cortical Reorganization of Sensorimotor Systems and the Role of Intracortical Circuits After Spinal Cord Injury.

Journal Article
Mohammed H, Hollis ER.
Year Published: 
Neurotherapeutics. 2018 Jun 7. doi: 10.1007/s13311-018-0638-z. [Epub ahead of print]
PMID: 29882081 | DOI: 10.1007/s13311-018-0638-z
Abstract on PubMed


The plasticity of sensorimotor systems in mammals underlies the capacity for motor learning as well as the ability to relearn following injury. Spinal cord injury, which both deprives afferent input and interrupts efferent output, results in a disruption of cortical somatotopy. While changes in corticospinal axons proximal to the lesion are proposed to support the reorganization of cortical motor maps after spinal cord injury, intracortical horizontal connections are also likely to be critical substrates for rehabilitation-mediated recovery. Intrinsic connections have been shown to dictate the reorganization of cortical maps that occurs in response to skilled motor learning as well as after peripheral injury. Cortical networks incorporate changes in motor and sensory circuits at subcortical or spinal levels to induce map remodeling in the neocortex. This review focuses on the reorganization of cortical networks observed after injury and posits a role of intracortical circuits in recovery.