Neural mechanisms mediating cross education: with additional considerations for the ageing brain

Glenn H M Calvert, Richard G Carson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

CALVERT, G.H.M., and CARSON, R.G. Neural mechanisms mediating cross education: with additional considerations for the ageing brain. NEUROSCI BIOBEHAV REV 21(1) XXX-XXX, 2021. - Cross education (CE) is the process whereby a regimen of unilateral limb training engenders bilateral improvements in motor function. The contralateral gains thus derived may impart therapeutic benefits for patients with unilateral deficits arising from orthopaedic injury or stroke. Despite this prospective therapeutic utility, there is little consensus concerning its mechanistic basis. The precise means through which the neuroanatomical structures and cellular processes that mediate CE may be influenced by age-related neurodegeneration are also almost entirely unknown. Notwithstanding the increased incidence of unilateral impairment in later life, age-related variations in the expression of CE have been examined only infrequently. In this narrative review, we consider several mechanisms which may mediate the expression of CE with specific reference to the ageing CNS. We focus on the adaptive potential of cellular processes that are subserved by a specific set of neuroanatomical pathways including: the corticospinal tract, corticoreticulospinal projections, transcallosal fibres, and thalamocortical radiations. This analysis may inform the development of interventions that exploit the therapeutic utility of CE training in older persons. [Abstract copyright: Copyright © 2021. Published by Elsevier Ltd.]
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)260-288
Number of pages29
JournalNeuroscience and biobehavioral reviews
Volume132
Early online date18 Nov 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2022

Keywords

  • motor control
  • cross-limb transfer
  • unimanual training
  • intermanual transfer
  • interlimb transfer
  • unimanual movement
  • bilateral transfer
  • motor learning

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