Brain Repair

Paperback | September 1, 1997

byDonald G. Stein, Simon Brailowsky, Bruno Will

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Sixty years ago, the Nobel laureate Santiago Ramon y Cajal stated that "in the adult brain, nervous pathways are fixed and immutable; everything may die, nothing may be regenerated." Cajal's influence has been legendary--and conventional wisdom still holds that the human brain cannot repairitself. Today, however, remarkable discoveries from laboratories around the world offer a much more optimistic prognosis. In Brain Repair, three internationally renowned neuroscientists team up to offer an intriguing and up-to-the-minute introduction to the explosive advances being made in theresearch, technology, and treatment of brain damage. The key to neuroscience's most exciting discoveries to date is a theory that is rapidly gaining adherents in the scientific community--the theory of neuroplasticity. Unlike the prevalent notion that mental processes--like seeing, remembering, and speaking--take place only within highly specializedbrain regions made up of irreplaceable and non-regenerating cells, neuroplasticity stresses that cells throughout the brain can not only regenerate, but can adapt their function to assume critical roles once performed by damaged tissue. In clear, accessible language, the authors show us that thebrain manufactures a host of complex chemicals that actually foster growth in damaged brain cells. We visit the laboratories where researchers are untangling the mystery of Parkinson's disease and trying to understand what goes wrong in stroke victims, and why some, thought permanently impaired,show remarkable improvements. In addition, they discuss how even today misguided ideas can adversely affect how physicians treat patients--for example, they describe common drug treatments given to stroke and head trauma patients that can actually worsen the effects of brain damage. And, along theway, they detail the fascinating history of how brain structure and functioning has been understood and studied, from prehistoric times to the present. Over a half million people each year suffer brain-damaging injuries and diseases--but the outlook for their eventual recovery is far more hopeful than it was just a short while ago. A best-selling volume in France and Mexico, Brain Repair provides a vividly written, wide-ranging look at the leadingedge of one of science's most exciting frontiers.

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From the Publisher

Sixty years ago, the Nobel laureate Santiago Ramon y Cajal stated that "in the adult brain, nervous pathways are fixed and immutable; everything may die, nothing may be regenerated." Cajal's influence has been legendary--and conventional wisdom still holds that the human brain cannot repairitself. Today, however, remarkable discoveries...

Donald G. Stein is Professor of Psychobiology and former Dean of the Graduate School at Rutgers University. Simon Brailowsky is Professor of Neuroscience at the National University of Mexico. Bruno Will is Professor of Behavioral neuroscience at Louis Pasteur University, Strasbourg, France.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:176 pages, 9.17 × 6.14 × 0.55 inPublished:September 1, 1997Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195119185

ISBN - 13:9780195119183

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Table of Contents

1. Brain and Behavior: A Brief History of Ideas 2. Looking Into the Living Brain 3. Neurons at Work 4. The Injured Brain 5. Regeneration, Repair and Reorganization 6. Factors in the Brain That Enhance Growth and Repair 7. Age and Recovery: Is There a Difference Between Brain Damage That Occurs Early and Late in Life? 8. Brain Transplants as Therapy for Brain Injuries? 9. The Pharmacology of Brain Injury Repair 10. Environment, Brain Function and Brain Repair Epilogue: Where Do We Go From Here?

Editorial Reviews

"Justifiable optimism is the theme of this carefully thought-out, clearly written book. Stein and his colleagues survey the growth of knowledge about the brain, its injuries and diseases; examine current approaches to the repair of those traumas and the rehabilitation and retraining of theirsufferers; and discuss procedures of examination and diagnosis....Professional and lay readers alike should ponder this pioneering book."--Booklist