Definition: section of a peripheral nerve results in degeneration of the segment of the nerve distal to the lesion and, consequently, distal to the cell body of the transected axons. Section of the posterior root of a spinal nerve between the ganglion and the spinal cord results in degeneration of the central process; section of the anterior root results in degeneration of the peripheral processes of the anterior root. Waller's work preceded the neuron doctrine but showed that the cell body was the trophic center of the neuron.
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