Impairment of motor function following peripheral nerve injury is a serious clinical problem. Generally nerve injury leads to erroneous control of muscle activity that results in gait and voluntary movement abnormalities followed by muscle atrophy. This article presents a review of studies on the effects of peripheral nerve injury on the motor system performed on animal models. We focused our attention on the results that are fundamental for better understanding of the degenerative and regenerative processes induced by nerve injury as well as of the mechanisms of structural changes in neuronal networks controlling movement. Quoted results are also important for clinical applications because they allow to develop new diagnostic and therapeutic techniques that can be used after nerve injury inducing motor deficits. However, till now no efficient therapy inducing satisfactory recovery was found. There is still a need to continue an advanced basic research directed to develop effective therapies. Thus the aim of this review is to compare the results of recent studies performed on various animal models in order to propose new methods for identification of mechanisms responsible for muscle deficits and propose targets for new pharmacological therapies.
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