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November 2002

Regeneration in the Adult and Aging Brain

Arch Neurol. 2002;59(11):1717-1720. doi:10.1001/archneur.59.11.1717

A NEW PACE of discovery has been achieved for regeneration research that inspires hope for future therapies aimed at repairing the injured central nervous system (CNS). Perhaps the most noticeable development has been a widening of the conceptual framework for how regeneration can be directed. Until recently, regeneration approaches centered on the classical view that injured nerves lack tropic support for regrowth. Today, neurobiologists are promoting neural regeneration using multiple approaches that include manipulation of the immune system, extracellular matrix, or growth-associated genes. Perhaps most exciting, recent data suggest that the adult CNS may be capable of impressive self-repair, encouraged through activity or physical rehabilitation. In this editorial we highlight some recent reports of CNS regeneration and consider them in the context of the unique set of challenges associated with the adult brain.

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