Behavioral and Brain Sciences

Authors' Responses

Are fetal brain tissue grafts necessary for the treatment of brain damage?

Donald G. Steina1 and Marylou M. Glasiera1

a1 Laboratory of Brain Research and CNS Plasticity Institute of Animal Behavior, Rutgers University Newark, NJ 07102.


Despite some clinical promise, using fetal transplants for degenerative and traumatic brain injury remains controversial and a number of issues need further attention. This response reexamines a number of questions. Issues addressed include: temporal factors relating to neural grafting, the role of behavioral experience in graft outcome, and the relationship of rebuilding of neural circuitry to functional recovery. Also discussed are organization and type of transplanted tissue, the “trophic hypothesis” of transplant viability, and whether transplants are really needed to obtain functional recovery after brain damage.