Most scholars agree that the first scientist to clearly describe axonal regeneration (as we now know it) was the Englishman William Cumberland Cruikshank about the time of the signing of the American Declaration of Independence in 1776 (Ochs 1977). The search for a practical means to regenerate CNS axons has become the Holy Grail for the students of CNS injury. This requires not only a means to induce more robust powers of growth in surviving proximal segments of axons, but to provide directional cues to them during regeneration as well. Santiago Ramón y Cajal (1928) explained what experimental neurology must do to realize this dream: (The neurologist) “must give to the sprouts, by means of adequate alimentation, a vigorous capacity for growth; and place in front of the disoriented nerve cones and in the thickness of the tracts of the white matter and neuronic foci specific orienting substances” (Ramón y Cajal 1928, p 738).
KeywordsSpinal Cord Nerve Growth Factor Growth Cone Axonal Regeneration Proximal Segment
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