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Journal of Neural Transplantation and Plasticity
Volume 4 (1993), Issue 3, Pages 227-237

Conceptual and Practical Issues in the Pharmacological Treatment of Brain Injury

Brain Research Laboratory, Institute of Animal Behavior, Rutgers University, Newark 07102, NJ, USA

Copyright © 1993 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


It is only within the last ten years that research on treatment for central nervous system (CNS) recovery after injury has become more focused on the complexities involved in promoting recovery from brain injury when the CNS is viewed as an integrated and dynamic system. There have been major advances in research in recovery over the last decade, including new information on the mechanics and genetics of metabolism and chemical activity, the definition of excitotoxic effects and the discovery that the brain itself secretes complex proteins, peptides and hormones which are capable of directly stimulating the repair of damaged neurons or blocking some of the degenerative processes caused by the injury cascade. Many of these agents, plus other nontoxic naturally occurring substances, are being tested as treatment for brain injury. Further work is needed to determine appropriate combinations of treatments and optimum times of administration with respect to the time course of the CNS disorder. In order to understand the mechanisms that mediate traumatic brain injury and repair, there must be a merging of findings from neurochemical studies with data from intensive behavioral testing.