A recent study suggests strong functional connectivity between a region of the brain that regulates motivation and the regions involved in motor learning, promote the effective recovery and rehabilitation of stroke patients and patients with spinal injuries.

The joint research team based in Japan led by Yukio Nishimura associate professor, national institute for Physiological Sciences, concluded that activating the part of the brain region that controls “motivation” could advance the functional recovery of the motor system for a patient with damage to the central nervous system. The rehabilitative training of Macaque monkeys after spinal cord injuries reportedly reflected this conclusion.

Researchers focused their study on the brain’s limbic system. The findings of positron emission tomography (PET), used in the longitudinal study of activities in this region of the brain suggest the more motor functional recovery progresses, the stronger the functional connectivity between the activities in the limbic system and motor cortex becomes.

Nishimura emphasized the importance of combining psychological support and psychiatric regulation of emotion with physical training of motor functions during rehabilitation.

The results of this study were published in the PLoS One science magazine September 28.

Source: National Institute for Physiological Sciences