chapter  7
TBI rehabilitation: Lessons learned from animal studies about mechanisms, timing, and combinatorial approaches
ByDorothy A. Kozlowski
Pages 10

The most influential demonstrations of the link between rehabilitation and neuroplasticity come from animal models of stroke and electrolytic lesions. This chapter focuses primarily on structural plasticity (i.e., changes in dendritic arborization, synapse anatomy and number) and functional plasticity (i.e., changes in cortical maps that occur as a direct result of structural plasticity). In animal models of traumatic brain injury (TBI), such as the controlled cortical impact (CCI), fluid percussion injury (FPI), and weight drop models, plasticity has primarily been examined via expression of neurotrophic factors and inhibitors of neuroplasticity or other molecular markers of synaptic plasticity. The brain following injury has been described as a 'fertile milieu' for structural changes such as dendritic growth and pruning. TBI inpatient rehabilitation is naturally designed to include multiple different rehabilitation therapies and approaches, including physical, occupational, speech, and cognitive therapies along with management of nutrition and psychotherapy.