A prerequisite for the recovery of impaired brain function is the capacity of the central nervous system to induce plastic rewiring and reorganization processes after CNS injury. However, where and how neuronal connections regrow, which neuronal circuits reorganize, stabilize or disintegrate and how neuronal remodeling contributes to the functional outcome is not well understood. My work aims at understanding fundamental principles of neuronal circuit rewiring and individual neuronal recoding as intrinsic repair mechanisms of the brain recruiting intact structures to regain lost or impaired functions. The examination of causal relationships between neuronal rewiring and recovery of distinct sensorimotor and cognitive features opens up new possibilities for targeted novel therapeutic approaches or optimized rehabilitative strategies in stroke and vascular dementia.
Wahl AS, Büchler U, Brändli A, Brattoli B, Musall S, Kasper H, Ineichen BV, Helmchen F, Ommer B, Schwab ME (2017) Optogenetic stimulation of the intact corticospinal tract after stroke restores motor control through regionalized functional circuit formation. Nature Communications 8(1):1187. doi: 10.1038/s41467-017-01090-6.
Wahl AS, Omlor W, Rubio JC, Chen JL, Zheng H, Schröter A, Gullo M, Weinmann O, Kobayashi K, Helmchen F, Ommer B, Schwab ME (2014) Neuronal repair. Asynchronous therapy restores motor control by rewiring of the rat corticospinal tract after stroke. Science 344(6189):1250-5. doi: 10.1126/science.1253050.
Wahl AS, Schwab ME (2014) Finding an optimal rehabilitation paradigm after stroke: enhancing fiber growth and training of the brain at the right moment. Front Hum Neurosci. 7:911. doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2013.00911.