Differential brain and spinal cord cytokine and BDNF levels in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis are modulated by prior and regular exercise
Despite intensive neurorehabilitation, extensive functional recovery after spinal cord injury is unattainable for most individuals. Optimal recovery will likely depend on activity-based, task-specific training that personalizes the timing of intervention with the severity of injury. Exercise paradigms elicit both beneficial and deleterious biophysical effects after spinal cord injury. Modulating the type, intensity, complexity, and timing of training may minimize risk and induce greater recovery. This review discusses the following: (a) the biological underpinning of training paradigms that promote motor relearning and recovery, and (b) how exercise interacts with cellular cascades after spinal cord injury. Clinical implications are discussed throughout.