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REVIEW ARTICLE
Year : 2015  |  Volume : 1  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 104-113

Pharmacologic pre- and postconditioning for stroke: Basic mechanisms and translational opportunity


1 Department of Radiology and Neurology, Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts General Hospital, Massachusetts, USA
2 Department of Neurosurgery, Cerebrovascular Research Institute, Xuan Wu Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing, PR China

Correspondence Address:
Eng H Lo
Massachusetts General Hospital - East Building 149, 13th Street, Charlestown, Massachusetts - 02129
USA
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/2394-8108.166380

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Beyond reperfusion therapies, there are still no widely effective therapies for ischemic stroke. Although much progress has been made to define the molecular pathways involved, targeted neuroprotective strategies have often failed in clinical trials. An emerging hypothesis suggests that focusing on single targets and mechanisms may not work since ischemic stroke triggers multiple pathways in multiple cell types. In this review, we briefly survey and assess the opportunities that may be afforded by pre- and postconditioning therapies, with particular attention to pharmacologic pre- and postconditioning. Pharmacologic conditioning may be defined as the use of chemical agents either before or shortly after stroke onset to trigger mechanisms of endogenous tolerance that are thought to involve evolutionarily conserved signals that offer broad protection against ischemia. Importantly, many of the pharmacologic agents may also have been previously used in humans, thus providing hope for translating basic mechanisms into clinical applications.


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