The medical and socio-economic burden of ischemic stroke is vast. Current thrombolytic therapies have a time-limited therapeutic window and do not provide significant benefits beyond tissue reperfusion. The detrimental effect of oxidative stress caused by excessive oxidant production due to cerebral reperfusion injury is a neglected consequence of ischemic stroke and warrants special consideration. Strategies directed at preventing or reducing oxidative damage in the brain post-ischemic stroke have the potential to improve neurological outcome and reduce morbidity and mortality from this common disease. Significantly, the prospect of increasing the size of the treatment window for thrombolytic therapies, perhaps by synergistic effects with other medications given in parallel, is also an avenue worthy of further investigation. This perspective outlines the current status of thrombolytic therapy for the treatment of ischemic stroke and explores the possibility of improving and expanding this potential therapy. Furthermore, the implications of directly treating damage caused by oxidative stress with novel antioxidant therapy are discussed.
- Cerebral ischemia reperfusion injury
- Reactive nitrogen species
- Reactive oxygen species
- Thrombolytic therapy