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Voluntary exercise ameliorates the good limb training effect in a mouse model of stroke

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Stroke is the leading cause of long-term disability in the United States, making research on rehabilitation imperative. Stroke rehabilitation typically focuses on recovery of the impaired limb, although this process is tedious. Compensatory use of the intact limb after stroke is more efficient, but it is known to negatively impact the impaired limb. Exercise may help with this problem; research has shown that exercise promotes neuronal growth and prevents cell death. This study used a mouse model to investigate if post-stroke exercise could prevent deterioration of the function of the impaired limb despite compensatory training of the intact limb. Results showed that mice that exercised, in combination with intact limb training, demonstrated improved functional outcome compared to mice that received no training or compensatory limb training only. These findings suggest that exercise can prevent the deterioration of impaired limb functional outcome that is typically seen with intact limb use.

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Authors would like to thank the Illinois Wesleyan University Artistic and Scholarly Development program for funds used to complete this project


This work was supported by funding from the Illinois Wesleyan University Artistic and Scholarly Development grant program.

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Correspondence to Abigail L. Kerr.

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The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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All applicable international, national, and institutional guidelines for the care and use of animals were followed. All procedures performed in this study were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institution at which the study was conducted as approved by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee protocol number 14-002.

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Communicated by Winston D Byblow.

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Nemchek, V., Haan, E.M., Mavros, R. et al. Voluntary exercise ameliorates the good limb training effect in a mouse model of stroke. Exp Brain Res 239, 687–697 (2021).

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