Neurorestorative Drug Discovery

Until a decade ago, it was firmly believed that once the brain or spinal cord was damaged by the acute and subacute secondary injury process there was little, if any, capability for regeneration of axons or the formation of new synapses. However, over the last several years it has been discovered that CNS neurons are indeed capable of significant structural and functional regeneration and repair. These processes might be pharmacologically enhanced, either by reawakening the growth potential of the surviving neurons, or by antagonizing the multiple inhibitory factors that have been discovered, the activity of which is aimed at inhibiting axonal growth and synaptogenesis. Several pharmacological mechanisms have been identified that can be targeted to try to enhance the function and/or structural plasticity of neuronal pathways that survive the ravages of postischemic or posttraumatic secondary injury.86-89

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