Medical therapy for ischemic stroke
Department of Neurology
Brain; Brain Ischemia; Cerebrovascular Disorders; Humans
Nervous System Diseases | Neurology
Therapy for stroke is undergoing major changes. Many of the changes parallel the advances made in the therapy for myocardial infarction. Acute intervention with cytoprotective and thrombolytic agents is undergoing active investigation. Cytoprotective therapy includes drugs that act to prevent cell death during ischemia and reperfusion. These agents include calpain inhibitors, voltage-sensitive calcium- and sodium-channel antagonists, receptor-mediated calcium-channel antagonists [including N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) and alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazole propionic acid (AMPA) antagonists], glutamate-synthesis inhibitors, glutamate-release antagonists, gamma-aminobenzoic acid (GABA) antagonists, 5-HT (serotonin) receptor agonists, gangliosides, antioxidants, growth factors, antiapoptotic agents, and antiadhesion molecules. Thrombolysis is effective in myocardial infarction. Thrombolysis is undergoing evaluation in stroke with streptokinase, anisoylated plasminogen streptokinase activator complex (APSAC), tissue plasminogen activator (t-PA; including recombinant t-PA), urokinase, and single-chain urokinase (scu-PA). Both systemic and selective administration are being evaluated. Preventive therapy with both antiplatelet and anticoagulant drugs sheds new light on how best to stratify patients in terms of a risk-benefit ratio. Continuing public education will be essential as stroke therapy advances.
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Citation: Clin Neuropharmacol. 1996 Apr;19(2):101-28.
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