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Special Communication |

Further Evolution Toward Effective Therapy for Acute Ischemic Stroke

Marc Fisher, MD; Julien Bogousslavsky, MD
JAMA. 1998;279(16):1298-1303. doi:10.1001/jama.279.16.1298.
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The effective treatment of acute ischemic stroke remains an important goal of modern medicine and substantive advances are occurring. Recently, thrombolytic therapy with tissue-type plasminogen activator was approved for selected patients with acute ischemic stroke when therapy is started within 3 hours of onset. Streptokinase therapy for acute ischemic stroke has not been shown to be effective and is associated with an increased risk of hemorrhage, although it was not evaluated as early after stroke onset as tissue-type plasminogen activator. Various types of neuroprotective interventions are effective in animal models, but none has yet been proven effective in patients. In the future, combinations of thrombolytic and neuroprotective drugs may be used to attempt maximum rates of recovery after acute ischemic stroke. For combination therapy to achieve its maximum potential, patients with acute ischemic stroke will have to be carefully selected and treated.

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Redundant mechanisms of ischemic injury. NMDA indicates N-methyl-D-aspartate; AMPA, a-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazole; ATP, adenosine triphosphate; EAA, excitatory amino acids; AA, arachidonic acid; and ECF, extracellular fluid. Adapted with permission from Fisher M, ed. Stroke Therapy. Newton, Mass: Butterworth-Heinemann; 1995.

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