Ischemic brain injury is a principal pathology in survivors of ischemic stroke and cardiac arrest, two of the most significant diseases of the developed world. At present, acute treatment options to minimise ischemic brain injury are limited. For ischaemic stroke, tPA thrombolysis to restore cerebral blood flow is considered the best available treatment. However, due to tPA’s narrow therapeutic window (3–4.5 h), its use is restricted.
Presently, only moderate hypothermia (33 °C; 12–24 h) has neuroprotective efficacy based on improvements in neurological outcomes following cardiac arrest. Current ongoing phase 3 trials will soon determine if mild-moderate hypothermia (33–35 °C; 24 h) will improve outcome in stroke. Despite these promising interventions there is still an urgent need to develop neuroprotective agents that can be given to a wider patient population and/or can boost the effectiveness of currently available treatments.
The purpose of this special issue is to compile a number of selected articles that provide an overview of pre-clinical and clinical neuroprotective interventions that are currently being investigated or used.