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Behavioural Neurology
Volume 17, Issue 1, Pages 17-24

Neuroprotection and Stroke Rehabilitation: Modulation and Enhancement of Recovery

José Rafael Romero,1 Viken L. Babikian,1 Douglas I. Katz,1,2 and Seth P. Finklestein3,4

1Department of Neurology, Boston University Medical Center, Boston University, Boston, MA, USA
2Healthsouth Braintree Rehabilitation Hospital, Braintree, MA, USA
3Biotrofix, Inc., Needham, MA, USA
4Department of Neurology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA, USA

Received 26 April 2006; Accepted 26 April 2006

Copyright © 2006 Hindawi Publishing Corporation and the authors. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Recent advances in research are modifying our view of recovery after nervous system damage. New findings are changing previously held concepts and providing promising avenues for treatment of patients after stroke. This review discusses mechanisms of neuronal injury after brain ischemia and the attempts to study neuroprotection options based on such mechanisms. It also considers measures available at present to improve outcome after stroke and presents new areas of research, particularly stimulation techniques, neurogenesis and trophic factors to enhance recovery. In order to improve outcomes, medications that may be detrimental to recovery should be avoided, while symptomatic therapy of problems such as depression, pain syndromes and spasticity may contribute to better results. Continued surveillance and early treatment of complications associated with acute stroke, along with supportive care remain the mainstay of treatment for stroke patients in the recovery phase. Present research on limiting brain damage and improving recovery and plasticity enhance the prospects for better clinical treatments to improve recovery after stroke.