Repository logo

Neuroregeneration and plasticity: a review of the physiological mechanisms for achieving functional recovery postinjury

Published version

Change log


Nagappan, Palaniappan Ganesh 
Chen, Hong 
Wang, De-Yun 


Abstract: Neuronal networks, especially those in the central nervous system (CNS), evolved to support extensive functional capabilities while ensuring stability. Several physiological “brakes” that maintain the stability of the neuronal networks in a healthy state quickly become a hinderance postinjury. These “brakes” include inhibition from the extracellular environment, intrinsic factors of neurons and the control of neuronal plasticity. There are distinct differences between the neuronal networks in the peripheral nervous system (PNS) and the CNS. Underpinning these differences is the trade-off between reduced functional capabilities with increased adaptability through the formation of new connections and new neurons. The PNS has “facilitators” that stimulate neuroregeneration and plasticity, while the CNS has “brakes” that limit them. By studying how these “facilitators” and “brakes” work and identifying the key processes and molecules involved, we can attempt to apply these theories to the neuronal networks of the CNS to increase its adaptability. The difference in adaptability between the CNS and PNS leads to a difference in neuroregenerative properties and plasticity. Plasticity ensures quick functional recovery of abilities in the short and medium term. Neuroregeneration involves synthesizing new neurons and connections, providing extra resources in the long term to replace those damaged by the injury, and achieving a lasting functional recovery. Therefore, by understanding the factors that affect neuroregeneration and plasticity, we can combine their advantages and develop rehabilitation techniques. Rehabilitation training methods, coordinated with pharmacological interventions and/or electrical stimulation, contributes to a precise, holistic treatment plan that achieves functional recovery from nervous system injuries. Furthermore, these techniques are not limited to limb movement, as other functions lost as a result of brain injury, such as speech, can also be recovered with an appropriate training program.



Review, Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine, Neuroregeneration, Plasticity, Neuronal systems, Postinjury, Central nervous system, Peripheral nervous system, Rehabilitation

Journal Title

Military Medical Research

Conference Name

Journal ISSN


Volume Title



BioMed Central