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October 23, 1991

Eventual Central Nervous System Regeneration?

JAMA. 1991;266(16):2192-2193. doi:10.1001/jama.1991.03470160024006

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ADVANCES in central nervous system (CNS) regeneration research may be reminding physicians to never say never.

Any attempts at curing paralysis still are a long way off (JAMA. 1981;245: 1201-1206,1293-1301). And much of the current enthusiasm is based on laboratory and animal studies.

But "this field is changing, and physicians should not be making drastic statements any more" to paralyzed patients about how medical science will "never be able to do anything to help," says Richard P. Bunge, MD, science director at the University of Miami (Fla) Project to Cure Paralysis.

Goal No Longer 'Outlandish'  There is agreement at the American Paralysis Association, Springfield, NJ. "There is a great deal of optimism that functional return is really not such an outlandish goal anymore," says Margaret Brown, PhD, the association's director of research.Acute treatment with methylprednisolone to limit the extent of damage is now routine therapy for patients who reach