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Regenerating the damaged central nervous system

Abstract

It is self-evident that the adult mammalian brain and spinal cord do not regenerate after injury, but recent discoveries have forced a reconsideration of this accepted principle. Advances in our understanding of how the brain develops have provided a rough blueprint for how we may bring about regeneration in the damaged brain. Studies in developmental neurobiology, intracellular signalling and neuroimmunology are bringing the regeneration field closer to success. Notwithstanding these advances, clear and indisputable evidence for adult functional regeneration remains to be shown.

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Figure 1: Steps to functional regeneration.
Figure 2: Intracellular mediators of axon growth.

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Acknowledgements

We thank E. Brandon, S. Colamarino, M.-C. Senut, L. Shihabuddin, H. van Praag, B. Benish and L. Horky for providing input during the preparation of this review. We appreciate the editorial assistance of M. L. Gage and the assistance of E. Grabowski in the preparation of illustrations. We are grateful for the continued support of The Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation, The Lookout Fund, The Parkinson's Disease Foundation and the National Institutes of Health. The content of this publication does not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the Department of Health and Human Services, nor does mention of trade names, commercial products, or organizations imply endorsement by the US Government.

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Correspondence to Fred H. Gage.

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Horner, P., Gage, F. Regenerating the damaged central nervous system. Nature 407, 963–970 (2000). https://doi.org/10.1038/35039559

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