Advances in acute stroke treatment and the widespread establishment of dedicated stroke units have resulted in an increase in poststroke survival and life expectancy. However, stroke remains a leading cause of long-term disability worldwide, making the improvement of poststroke outcomes a chief healthcare goal for many countries. The current strategies strive to reduce the initial injury by acutely implementing thrombolytic and/or endovascular interventions, to better understand the major determinants that influence the stroke recovery and to search for innovative, effective and accessible recovery and rehabilitation modalities that can mitigate various poststroke deficits and enhance the quality of life. These approaches require a collaboration and integration of fundamental and clinical science research to more efficiently translate benchwork results into therapeutic bedside interventions. Due to a variety of stroke research advances in both the basic and clinical sciences over the last few years, especially in 2016, the field of stroke recovery and rehabilitation has celebrated many hopes and progresses. Our goal was to explore these studies and better identify, understand and integrate key findings for the purpose of identifying new targets that could be translated into clinically rewarding therapeutic interventions in future.
We manually searched professional journals with an average 5-year impact factor >3 (from 2012 to 2016) that were known to publish manuscript with topics in stroke recovery and rehabilitation. We aimed to selectively highlight relevant basic and clinical science stroke recovery research published between December 2015 and December 2016 in these journals. Certain selection biases cannot be completely ruled out and omissions are possible. The list of journals are Science, Nature, Nature Neuroscience, Neuron, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, Neurobiology of Disease, Scientific Report, PLOS ONE, Acta Neuropathologica, Journal of Neuroscience, Annals of Neurology, Neurology, JAMA Neurology, Stroke, The Lancet, Lancet of Neurology, JAMA, Brain, Brain Stimulation, Stem Cells, Cell Death and Differentiation, Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair, Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism and New England Journal of Medicine.