Genetic influences on neural plasticity.
Published Web Locationhttps://doi.org/10.1016/j.pmrj.2010.09.011
Neural plasticity refers to the capability of the brain to alter function or structure in response to a range of events and is a crucial component of both functional recovery after injury and skill learning in healthy individuals. A number of factors influence neural plasticity and recovery of function after brain injury. The current review considers the impact of genetic factors. Polymorphisms in the human genes coding for brain-derived neurotrophic factor and apolipoprotein E have been studied in the context of plasticity and stroke recovery and are discussed here in detail. Several processes involved in plasticity and stroke recovery, such as depression or pharmacotherapy effects, are modulated by other genetic polymorphisms and are also discussed. Finally, new genetic polymorphisms that have not been studied in the context of stroke are proposed as new directions for study. A better understanding of genetic influences on recovery and response to therapy might allow improved treatment after a number of forms of central nervous system injury.