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January 1995


Author Affiliations

La Jolla, Calif

Arch Neurol. 1995;52(1):15. doi:10.1001/archneur.1995.00540250017004

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Most neurologists have been taught that regeneration fails to occur in the central nervous system, or "what you see is what you get," with little possibility for central nervous system recovery after injury past the period of early development. However, progress in the basic neurosciences in the last 10 years has led to a very dramatic change in this perception. Both the adult central nervous system and peripheral nervous system are, in fact, structurally and functionally dynamic throughout life. For example, the anatomic substrate for some forms of learning appears to be true structural alteration of the brain, even in adult subjects. Following injury, there is often evidence of a dramatic nervous system response in adult mammals in the form of axon growth, sprouting, and production of neurotrophic factors (proteins that promote neuronal survival), although clinical experience readily testifies that these responses are often functionally ineffective in the central nervous

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