BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to determine whether preoperative and postoperative enrichment of the environment can enhance the functional outcome after cerebral infarction in rats. METHODS: The right middle cerebral artery was ligated in adult spontaneously hypertensive male rats, and the functional outcome was studied for 12 weeks after the operation. Three groups were compared: A, rats kept in individual cages before and after the operation (n = 9); B, rats kept in individual cages before the operation but transferred to an enriched environment after the operation (n = 10); and C, rats kept in an enriched environment all the time (n = 12). The enriched environment consisted of a large cage with opportunities for various activities, but rats were not forced to do any particular tasks. RESULTS: Rats kept in an enriched environment (groups B and C) performed significantly better than rats in group A in a leg-placement test, beam walking, walking on a rotating pole, and climbing. The infarct size and thalamic atrophy did not differ among the groups. CONCLUSIONS: The laboratory environment is important for the functional outcome in brain ischemia. We hypothesize that an enriched environment may stimulate mechanisms that enhance brain plasticity after focal brain ischemia.
|Journal||Stroke: a journal of cerebral circulation|
|Publication status||Published - 1995|
Subject classification (UKÄ)
- cerebral infarction
- stroke outcome