Journal Article

Plasticity in the human central nervous system

S. F. Cooke and T. V. P. Bliss

in Brain

Published on behalf of The Guarantors of Brain

Volume 129, issue 7, pages 1659-1673
ISSN: 0006-8950
Published online May 2006 | e-ISSN: 1460-2156 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/brain/awl082
Plasticity in the human central nervous system

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Long-term potentiation (LTP) is a well-characterized form of synaptic plasticity that fulfils many of the criteria for a neural correlate of memory. LTP has been studied in a variety of animal models and, in rodents in particular, there is now a strong body of evidence demonstrating common underlying molecular mechanisms in LTP and memory. Results are beginning to emerge from studies of neural plasticity in humans. This review will summarize findings demonstrating that synaptic LTP can be induced in human CNS tissue and that rodent and human LTP probably share similar molecular mechanisms. We will also discuss the application of non-invasive stimulation techniques to awake human subjects to induce LTP-like long-lasting changes in localized neural activity. These techniques have potential therapeutic application in manipulating neural plasticity to treat a variety of conditions, including depression, Parkinson's disease, epilepsy and neuropathic pain.

Keywords: long-term potentiation; long-term depression; transcranial magnetic stimulation; interventional paired associative stimulation; NMDA receptor

Journal Article.  9613 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Neurology ; Neuroscience

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