• Neuroplasticity: the impact of age and injury

      Celentano, Alexis M. (2017-12)
      Background: Neuroplasticity is an ongoing process of the brain that allows for learning, changing, and adapting to every day changes as well as to trauma. As we age, the rate of neuroplasticity (that combats the ramifications of brain injury) starts to decline. This has been seen throughout many different species and is the justification for why adult systems have more devastating deficits from injury than children. The brain can spontaneously recover from injury but for improved long-term results, speech and language therapy in conjunction with spontaneous recovery is ideal for maximal recovery of function and language. Purpose: In this review, the primary goal is to discuss past and present research on neuroplasticity, neural aging and the effects of injury on the language centers of the brain. Results: I have discussed neuroplasticity and peak neuroplasticity in children known as the critical periods and sensitive periods, discussion of normal aging on neuroplasticity, the results of prenatal strokes in comparison to the results of adult strokes, and the different types of recovery that occurs post-stroke/traumatic brain injury (TBI).