This article provides an overview of the pathways the nervous system uses to create movement, and apply this knowledge to explain current therapeutic interventions for functional rehabilitation. The first section focuses on motor control hierarchy, where we describe how the motor system is organized in a conceptual hierarchical system to communicate across the central and peripheral nervous systems. The second section focuses on preparation and initiation of voluntary movement, where we explain the function of distinct regions of the brain, and how those regions consolidate and integrate their processing to engage in motor planning, formation and initiation of movement commands, and organization of sequential motor actions. The third section focuses on descending motor pathways, where we provide an anatomical description of how motor neurons navigate the various descending pathways from the cerebrum, or brainstem, to innervate their bodily targets. The fourth section focuses on feedforward and feedback mechanisms, where we discuss how sensory feedback and feedforward mechanisms impact movement regulation. The fifth section focuses on neural development of motor control, where we explain the basic developmental properties of motor control, from embryological development through adult maturation. The last section focuses on therapeutic approaches to motor rehabilitation, where we describe current therapeutic strategies clinicians use to enhance sensory, motor, and cognitive abilities for rehabilitation.
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