Neurobehavioral Plasticity: Learning, Development, and Response to Brain Insults

By Norman E. Spear; Linda P. Spear et al. | Go to book overview

11
Functional Recovery Following Damage to the Adult Rat Septohippocampal System

Fred H. Gage Gordon R. Chalmers Kaaren L. Eagle Mark H. Tuszynski University of California, San Diego

Michael D. Kawaja Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario

Following impairment producing brain damage, recovery of normal function (e.g., of motor control, vision, memory, etc.) is rare, but can occur in the adult central nervous system, and usually occurs spontaneously through mechanisms that are not yet understood. A clear understanding of the mechanisms responsible for recovery of function will enable a rational approach to reconstruction of normal intact circuitry and function in the damaged adult brain. There are at least two general strategies for uncovering these mechanisms. One requires an understanding of the mechanism behind the recovery that can occur spontaneously, and the other explores the mechanisms of growth and functional organization during development, with the idea that knowledge of how the brain achieved appropriate functional organization initially will assist in efforts to reestablish the damaged circuits in the adult. Although much progress has been made through each approach, neither can be successful without integration of both approaches. It is this ability to integrate knowledge from development and adult plasticity that Bob Isaacson has achieved in his own work and fostered in his students and colleagues. It has added much to his success.

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