IN THIS REVIEW, we describe how therapies that promote axonal regeneration and neuronal protection can complement surgery for a successful functional restoration in peripheral nerve disorders. We discuss the advantages of peripheral drug delivery and the role of the neurosurgeon in the precise delivery of molecular therapies to surgically inaccessible structures. Strategies for enhancing uptake and retrograde transport of therapeutics, including gene therapy, are emphasized as conduits for delivery of therapeutics. Finally, candidate therapeutic proteins and genes are discussed in the context of application to degenerative disorders of the nervous system, including nerve injury, peripheral neuropathy, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
Department of Neurosurgery, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia
Reprint requests: Nicholas M. Boulis, M.D., Department of Neurosurgery, Emory University, 1365-B Clifton Road NE, Suite B6200, Atlanta, GA 30322. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Received, January 2, 2008.
Accepted, August 8, 2008.