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Book Reviews
May 2001

Neurobiology of Spinal Cord Injury

Author Affiliations


Arch Neurol. 2001;58(5):No Pagination Specified. doi:

edited by Robert G. Kalb, MD, and Stephen M. Strittmatter, MD, PhD, 304 pp, with illus, $125, ISBN: 0-89603-672-3, Totowa, NJ, Humana Press, 2000.

Kalb and Strittmatter effectively capture and communicate a sense of renewed enthusiasm and excitement in the group of scientists who study spinal cord injury. They have produced a volume that, to a surprising extent, is a pleasure to read. Two broad objectives are addressed by this book. The first is to provide background information for considering the pathogenesis and potential treatments of spinal cord injury. The second is to suggest a research agenda for promoting better treatment of spinal cord injury. These chapters include discussions of cell death, cell death mechanisms, inhibitory signals for axonal growth cones, axonal microtubules, and the physiology of the spinal locomotor network. Each of these chapters is quite good. The expertise and experience of the authors is evident in the ability to assemble, shape, and discuss a complex and diverse body of research. Chapters 1 (spinal cord injury models), 2 (calcium and neuronal death), and 5 (strategies for spinal cord repair) are particularly fine. Descriptors for these chapters would include the words comprehensive, provocative, lucid, and relevant. Controversies are addressed directly and fairly, and practical matters that bear on the usage of various models or experimental systems are dealt with in detail.

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