Although there are many scientific and philosophical reasons to study the brain, for William J. Freed, "the most compelling reason to study the brain is to be able to repair the brains of individuals with nervous system injury or disease." Advances in repairing the nervous system, as well as new data on brain development, growth, and plasticity, have revolutionized the field of brain research and given rise to the technology of brain tissue transplantation. In this book Freed discusses both what may and what may not be possible.
In recent years there has been increasing interest and, subsequently, active research in neuropeptides. These neuroactive molecules coordinate, integrate, and regulate physiological processes in all organisms, throughout all phases of development. Acting as neurohormones, neurotransmitters, and/or neuromodulators, they maintain physiological homeostasis and influence important behavioral patterns. This textbook is the first to bring together and synthesize the neuropeptide research of the past decade in such a comprehensive, scholarly manner.
Because neurons and glia in culture are remarkably similar to those in situ, culture systems make it possible to identify significant cell interactions and to elucidate their mechanisms. This book is in many ways a do-it-yourself manual for culturing nerve cells, complete with recipes and protocols. But it also provides an understanding of the principles behind the protocols. In effect the contributors invite you into their labs and provide much of the information you would obtain from such a visit.