Spontaneous recovery (SR) is a mechanism which accounts for reduced impairments after an injury to the brain. There is no universal consensus on the typical time frame or underlying cellular changes associated with SR. It may take place over a few days to 12 months, but most changes occur in the first 3 months postinjury. Cognitive–communicative changes are more likely to extend beyond 3 months than motor changes. Most existing knowledge of molecular and cellular changes, including neuronal and vascular neuroplasticity, is based on animal studies. Environment and experiences also impact recovery, along with age and other demographic variables. Compensatory responses, such as increased activation of secondary cortices, also contribute to SR.

Determining appropriate assessments and interventions, in light of SR, can be a challenge for ...

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