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The Future of BioethicsInternational Dialogues$
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Akira Akabayashi

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199682676

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199682676.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 24 October 2021

Primary Topic Article

Primary Topic Article

Neural Repair as a Case Study in Neuroethics*

(p.46) 2.1 Primary Topic Article
The Future of Bioethics

D. Gareth Jones

Oxford University Press

Neuroethics traditionally pays little attention to neural degeneration and regeneration, areas central to much of current neuroscience. Underlying these interests is the ongoing plasticity of the mature brain, and the ability of stem cells to produce new neurons in adult life. Against this background there have been many attempts to tackle the motor deficits of Parkinson’s disease using neural grafts. The succession of clinical trials since the late 1980s is traced to assess the extent to which symptoms are alleviated by implanting fetal midbrain grafts. The results are ambivalent with some limited improvements in some patients. The part played by a paradigm of optimism is highlighted, while ongoing problems revolve around clinical equipoise, and the place of controls. Deep brain stimulation raises questions of authenticity and alienation. Both approaches to treatment point to the importance for ethics of an appreciation of fundamental understanding of brain connectivity, complexity, and ongoing neurogenesis.

Keywords:   Neuroethics, neural regeneration, neural grafts, Parkinson’s disease, deep brain stimulation

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