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Neurotrophic Substances and Behavioral Recovery from Brain Damage.
Annual rept. 15 Jul 82-14 Jul 83,
CLARK UNIV WORCESTER MA BRAIN RESEARCH LAB
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We have examined the question of whether Nerve Growth Factor NGF, polyamines, gangliosides and transplants of embryonic neural tissue, can be used to promote recovery from severe, traumatic injury to the head in young and adult laboratory rats. Our data have shown that neurotrophic substances facilitate behavioral recovery from brain wounds if conditions are correctly manipulated. For example, in young laboratory animals, single intracerebral injections of NGF to obtain good results. Lead to significant recovery from brain injuries long after the treatment has been terminated. In adults, recovery is less effective following single injections and the subject may require multiple, post-traumatic treatments of NGF to obtain good results. In contrast, intracerebral injections of polyamines promote functional recovery from damage inflicted early in life, but are ineffective in the treatment of brain-damaged adults. Both repeated, systemic, ganglioside injections as well as implants of fetal brain cells into damaged adult brains, lead to very significant improvements in behavioral performance in brain-damaged subjects. In the present experiments, the methodological parameters have just begun to be examined in detail. Future projects will study the physiological substrates of behavioral compensation following CNS lesions and extend our findings to other parts of the brain.
APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE