In the course of recovery from ischemic stroke, an extensive repair phase occurs that is initiated only days after an ischemic insult and persists for several weeks. This recovery is characterized by changes in neuronal excitability, rewiring of neuronal circuits and remapping of motor and sensory functions, but also involves a strong activation of the immune system.
We use Electrocorticography (ECoG) and study behavioral deficits in mice to monitor functional recovery over time while pharmacologically interacting with the immune system. Specifically, microglia, resident macrophages of the central nervous system, are activated and abundant for months after ischemic stroke. While their importance during maturation of neuronal networks is well described, their role in repair processes after ischemic stroke yet remains unclear. By correlating microglia-dependent changes in cortical activity with behavioral outcome we take a system level perspective aimed at a better understanding of the underlying pathophysiology and identification of novel therapeutics to promote functional recovery.