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Motivation may be a factor in recovery

Florida residents may have heard that a positive attitude can help in recovery from illness, but researchers in Japan have found a direct link between motivation and recovery from spinal cord injury and stroke. The study was recently published in a scientific journal.

The researchers wanted to explore recovering motor functions, controlled by the motor cortex, and how that is affected by motivation. They did so by blocking activity of the nucleus accumbens, which is responsible for motivation, in a monkey a month after it had suffered a spinal cord injury. Researchers found that the monkey's fingers, which had improved since the injury with rehabilitation, lost dexterity compared to the monkey that did not have the activity of the nucleus accumbens blocked and compared to the monkey that had recovered from the injury fully.

According to researchers, this points to a causal connection between hand control recovery and the nucleus accumbens. One of the researchers pointed out that it also indicates that motivating patients and providing psychological support during their recovery is important.

People who have suffered a spinal cord injury may be temporarily or permanently disabled. While they may be motivated in rehabilitation, they may also face extraordinary challenges and may be unable to return to work. Injured patients may also have to make significant alterations to their living situations. If the injury was the result of another person's negligence, such as a motor vehicle accident caused by a distracted or impaired driver, then the victim may want to obtain the assistance of an attorney in seeking financial compensation for the losses that have been incurred.

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