From a paper published in 2023 in the Journal of Translational Stroke Research
Neves, L.T., Paz, L.V., Wieck, A. et al. Environmental Enrichment in Stroke Research: an Update. Transl. Stroke Res. (2023). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12975-023-01132-w
Environmental enrichment (EE) refers to different forms of stimulation, where the environment is designed to improve the levels of sensory, cognitive, and motor stimuli, inducing stroke recovery in animal models. Stroke is a leading cause of mortality and neurological disability among older adults, hence the importance of developing strategies to improve recovery for such patients. This review provides an update on recent findings, compiling information regarding the parameters affected by EE exposure in both preclinical and clinical studies. During stroke recovery, EE exposure has been shown to improve both the cognitive and locomotor aspects, inducing important neuroplastic alterations, increased angiogenesis and neurogenesis, and modified gene expression, among other effects. There is a need for further research in this field, particularly in those aspects where the evidence is inconclusive. Moreover, it is necessary to refine and adapt the EE paradigms for application in human patients.