Date of Award


Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Master of Physical Therapy (MPT)


Physical Therapy

First Advisor

Thomas Mohr


Central Nervous System -- injuries


Factors that act either directly or indirectly, such as the age of the person, the time of injury, the site and size of location, mechanisms of neural repair, therapeutic intervention, and general medical and family support have been suggested to contribute to the overall motor and functional recovery of an individual. This paper is a literature review of these influential factors, with emphasis on restoration of functional skills. Overall, findings have been consistent to some degree. Generally, the more severe and dense the injury, the resulting increase in behavioral and motor deficits. Neural mechanisms of repair have been found to occur throughout one's lifetime, with full recovery being evident in both young and older individuals. Younger individuals have been found to fare better in terms of recovery. However, some deficits are not manifested until the appropriate maturational stages, some take time to appear, others take time to disappear. A comprehensive rehabilitation program and its timely implementation following injury were found to enhance the extent and quality of functional recovery. Motivation, family support, and functional activities have also been significant. An understanding of what is actually involved in an individual's total functional outcome and how, insofar as possible, these factors can be manipulated is imperative both in the sense of promoting recovery and in improving upon an already existing comprehensive treatment approach for individuals with CNS involvement.