plasticity and recovery


Most studies of brain injury, such as stroke, have traditionally focused on preventing neurodegeneration and death of affected brain cells. Comparatively little has been done to maximize and optimize the plasticity processes involved in repair and recovery after brain injury.

Our laboratory is involved in a new initiative directed at leveraging brain plasticity in efforts to enhance repair and recovery following brain injury. In particular, we hope to use manipulations that enhance learning and memory to accelerate and optimize recovery after brain injury.

In the last 10 years, we and others have genetically engineered different strains of mice with dramatic enhancements in learning and memory. We are using information obtained from these studies in efforts to develop therapies to facilitate repair and recovery.

Key Publications:

Kushner, S.A., Y. Elgersma, G.G. Murphy, D. Jaarsma, G.M. van Woerden, M.R. Hojjati, Y. Cui, J.C. LeBoutillier, D.F. Marrone, E.S. Choi, C.I. De Zeeuw, T.L. Petit, L. Pozzo-Miller, and A.J. Silva, Modulation of presynaptic plasticity and learning by the H-ras/extracellular signal-regulated kinase/synapsin I signaling pathway. J Neurosci, 2005. 25(42): p. 9721-34. (PDF)
Elgersma, Y., N. Fedorov, S. Ikonen, E. Choi, M. Elgersma, O. Carvalho, K. Giese, and A. Silva, Inhibitory autophosphorylation of CaMKII controls PSD association, plasticity and learning. Neuron, 2002. 36(3): p. 493-505.(PDF)
Murphy GG, Fedorov NB, Giese KP, Ohno M, Friedman E, Chen R, Silva AJ. Increased neuronal excitability, synaptic plasticity, and learning in aged Kvbeta1.1 knockout mice. Curr Biol. 2004 Nov 9;14(21):1907-15.(PDF)