Published online by Cambridge University Press: 05 March 2012
Neurorehabilitation is a medical specialty that is growing rapidly because medical advances have extended life expectancy and saved the lives of persons who previously would not have survived neurological injury. It is now urgent to develop a rigorous scientific basis for the field. The basic science relevant to functional recovery from neural injury is perhaps the most exciting and compelling of all the medical sciences. It encompasses areas of plasticity, regeneration and transplantation in the nervous system that individually have been the subjects of many monographs. With the Textbook of Neural Repair and Rehabilitation, these areas are integrated with each other and with the clinical topics to which they apply.
The Textbook of Neural Repair and Rehabilitation is organized into two volumes. Volume I: Neural Repair and Plasticity can stand alone as a textbook for graduate- or advanced undergraduate-level courses on recovery from neural injury. It is subdivided into two sections: A: Neural Plasticity and B: Neural Repair. Following an injury to the nervous system, most patients partially regain function. Section A: Neural Plasticity, addresses the mechanisms that underlie spontaneous recovery as well as the added recovery induced by therapies based on use, retraining and pharmacologic manipulations. The chapters cover the anatomical and physiologic responses of neurons to injury, mechanisms of learning and memory, and plasticity in specific areas of the nervous system consequent to intense use, disuse and injury. Ultimately, interventions aimed at repairing the damaged neural circuitry will be required if full function is to be restored.