Neuroprotective mechanisms and translational potential of therapeutic hypothermia in the treatment of ischemic stroke

Jin Hwan Lee, James Zhang, Shan Ping Yu
Neural Regeneration Research 2017, 12 (3): 341-350
Stroke is a leading cause of disability and death, yet effective treatments for acute stroke has been very limited. Thus far, tissue plasminogen activator has been the only FDA-approved drug for thrombolytic treatment of ischemic stroke patients, yet its application is only applicable to less than 4-5% of stroke patients due to the narrow therapeutic window (< 4.5 hours after the onset of stroke) and the high risk of hemorrhagic transformation. Emerging evidence from basic and clinical studies has shown that therapeutic hypothermia, also known as targeted temperature management, can be a promising therapy for patients with different types of stroke. Moreover, the success in animal models using pharmacologically induced hypothermia (PIH) has gained increasing momentum for clinical translation of hypothermic therapy. This review provides an updated overview of the mechanisms and protective effects of therapeutic hypothermia, as well as the recent development and findings behind PIH treatment. It is expected that a safe and effective hypothermic therapy has a high translational potential for clinical treatment of patients with stroke and other CNS injuries.

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