Oertzenweg 19 b
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The ability of the spinal cord to recover after partial or complete transection, and even reinitiate motor function, was investigated in several studies in cats. It has been shown that even after a complete spinalisation at the level of T12/T13, the possibility of restoration of hind-limb function is good. Central pattern generators (CPGs), located in the spinal cord, play an important role in this situation. Although CPGs alone are unable to restore function, the combination of CPGs with targeted and consistent mobility training and, in some cases, hind-limb sensory stimulation is essential to improve function. These result in a reorganisation of the CPGs and neuronal networks in the spinal cord. The age of the animal at the time of injury and the extent and localisation of lesions, play a crucial role in recovery. A new focus of research is the influence of neurotransmitters/neuromodulators on spinal-cord regeneration. How and to what extent these factors support locomotor training remains for further clinical investigation.