PerspectiveNeuroscience

Revitalizing Remyelination—the Answer Is Circulating

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Science  13 Apr 2012:
Vol. 336, Issue 6078, pp. 161-162
DOI: 10.1126/science.1221689

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Summary

Walled off by bone and the blood-brain barrier, the central nervous system (CNS) is protected from many physical and chemical dangers that threaten more exposed tissues. But while many tissues heal and regain function after injury or disease, the nervous system is notoriously poor at repair, even more so as we age. Because the CNS operates in near isolation from other systems, its failure to repair and regenerate has long been attributed to cell-intrinsic shortcomings that become more limited over time. But Ruckh et al. (1) suggest that cells of the CNS may not be so intrinsically limited in repair and that enhancing exposure of the damaged brain or spinal cord to beneficial factors in the blood could aid recovery in injury and disease.