This book begins with a synopsis of experimental work underlying degeneration and recovery in the nervous system, which is then discussed in the context of strategies to repair the central nervous system (CNS) and peripheral nervous system (PNS). The major part of the book is given over to the approach involving the use of transplanted tissues to replace and restore disrupted neural networks. This experimental work has formed the basis for the emerging clinical trials employing neural grafts for diseases such as Parkinson's and Huntington's, which are discussed in detail. The book then goes on to discuss newer cellular strategies involving the manipulation of neural cells both in culture and genetically, an approach that may ultimately be employed in the clinical situation.
Neural Repair, Transplantation and Rehabilitation is unique in bridging the gap from experimental studies to clinical trials, whilst also providing the non-specialist with a background in rehabilitation strategies as well as basic neuroscience. It is recommended for all those involved in the management of patients with degenerative and traumatic injuries to the nervous system.
'The book is clearly written in languages that does not assume any detailed prior knowledge of cell biology, and is well illustrated. It can be recommended to all who would like to learn mere about this rapidly expanding field.' - Leslie Iversen, King's College London in Neuropsychologia 38 2000
'Overall, the book by Barker and Dunnett represents a comprehensive and excellent overview of brain repair concepts and strategies ranging from the experimental basis to clinical applications. It can be highly recommended to both non-specialists and experts in the field, as it provides easily accessible information together with in-depth reviews of most of the important areas of brain plasticity and restoration.' - Guido Nikkhah, Nordstadt Hospital, Germany in Brain, 2001
'Today Barker and Dunnetts volume provides both the aspiring researcher and interested clinican with the most succinct state-of-the-art survey available. As an accessible review of the latest techniques and future advances in neural transplantation Barker and Dunnetts book is an undoubted success.' - Andrew Worthington, Brain Injury Rehabilitation Trust, Birmingham
The Limits of Regeneration in the Central Nervous System. Strategies for Protection and Repair of Damage in the CNS. Experimental Principles of Neural Transplantation. Nigral Grafts in Animal Models of Parkinson's Disease. First Clinical Trials: Neural Grafts in Parkinson's Disease. Striatal Grafts: Circuit Reconstruction and Huntington's Disease. Alzheimers Disease: A Difficult Target for Transplantation. Spinal Cord Injury: The Ultimate Challenge. Other Sources of Cells for Transplantation, Psychological Factors in Graft Function.
Rehabilitation is a process whereby people, who have been injured by injury or illness, work together with health service staff and others to achieve their optimum level of physical, psychological, social and vocational well-being (McLellan, 1991). It includes all measures aimed at reducing the impact of handicapping and disabling conditions and at enabling disabled people to return to their most appropriate environment (WHO, 1986; Wilson, 1997). It also includes attempts to alter impairment in underlying cognitive and brain systems by the provision of systematic, planned experience to the damaged brain (Robertson & Murre, 1999). The above views apply also to neuropsychological rehabilitation, which is concerned with the assessment, treatment and natural recovery of people who have sustained an insult to the brain.
Neuropsychological rehabilitation is influenced by a number of fields both from within and without psychology. Neuropsychology, behavioural psychology and cognitive psychology have each played important roles in the development of current rehabilitation practice. So too have findings from studies of neuroplasticity, linguistics, geriatric medicine, neurology and other fields. Our discipline, therefore, is not confined to one conceptual framework; rather, it has a broad theoretical base.
We hope that this broad base is reflected in the modular handbook. The first book was by Roger Barker and Stephen Dunnett which set the scene by talking about "Neural repair, transplantation and rehabilitation". The second title, by Josef Zihl, addressed visual disorders after brain injury. The most recent book by Barbara Wilson, Camilla Herbert and Agnes Shiel focussed on behavioural approaches to rehabilitation. Future titles will include volumes on specific cognitive functions such as language, memory and motor skills, together with social and personality aspects of neuropsychological rehabilitation. Other titles will follow as this is the kind of handbook that can be added to over the years.
Although each volume will be based on a strong theoretical foundation relevant to the topic in question, the main thrust of a majority of the books will be the development of practical, clinical methods of rehabilitation arising out of this research enterprise.
The series is aimed at neuropsychologists, clinical psychologists and other rehabilitation specialists such as occupational therapists, speech and language pathologists, rehabilitation physicians and other disciplines involved in the rehabilitation of people with brain injury.
Neuropsychological rehabilitation is at an exciting stage in its development. On the one hand, we have a huge growth of interest in functional imaging techniques to tell us about the basic processes going on in the brain. On the other hand, the past few years have seen the introduction of a number of theoretically driven approaches to cognitive rehabilitation from the fields of language, memory, attention and perception. In addition to both the above, there is a growing recognition from health services that rehabilitation is an integral part of a health care system. Of course, alongside the recognition of the need for rehabilitation is the view that any system has to be evaluated. To those of us working with brain injured people including those with dementia, there is a feeling that things are moving forward. This series, we hope, is one reflection of this move and the integration of theory and practice.
Barbara A. Wilson
Ian H. Robertson