Therapeutic hypothermia for ischemic stroke; pathophysiology and future promise

Kota Kurisu, Midori A Yenari
Neuropharmacology 2018 May 15, 134 (Pt B): 302-309
Therapeutic hypothermia, or cooling of the body or brain for the purposes of preserving organ viability, is one of the most robust neuroprotectants at both the preclinical and clinical levels. Although therapeutic hypothermia has been shown to improve outcome from related clinical conditions, the significance in ischemic stroke is still under investigation. Numerous pre-clinical studies of therapeutic hypothermia has suggested optimal cooling conditions, such as depth, duration, and temporal therapeutic window for effective neuroprotection. Several studies have also explored mechanisms underlying the mechanisms of neuroprotection by therapeutic hypothermia. As such, it appears that cooling affects multiple aspects of brain pathophysiology, and regulates almost every pathway involved in the evolution of ischemic stroke. This multifaceted mechanism is thought to contribute to its strong neuroprotective effect. In order to carry out this therapy in optimal clinical settings, methodological and pathophysiological understanding is crucial. However, more investigation is still needed to better understand the underlying mechanisms of this intervention, and to overcome clinical barriers which seem to preclude the routine use therapeutic hypothermia in stroke. This article is part of the Special Issue entitled 'Cerebral Ischemia'.

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