Cerebrovascular diseases are currently among the three primary causes of death worldwide and are the first cause of disability in adults. Nevertheless, there are no neuroprotective or neurorestorative therapies that have shown considerable beneficial effects, except for the FDA-approved recombinant tissue plasminogen activator (rtPA), which has been used for decades for the treatment of stroke and its effectiveness is still controversial. This is why it is very important to develop effective therapeutic options. In order to achieve this objective, it is essential to recognize the secondary mechanisms involved in the pathological development. The immunological system is one of these mechanisms that participate during the acute and chronic phases of disease, both in deleterious and beneficial manners. It is known that the immune system’s duality contributes to the ischemic injury through proinflammatory cytokine (tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), interleukin-1 (IL-1), interleukin-6 (IL-6)), and oxygen reactive species production, etc. Nevertheless, it also provides protection and even restoration through anti-inflammatory cytokine (interleukin-4 (IL-4), interleukin-10 (IL-10), transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β)), and growth factor (brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1), neurotrophin-3 (NT-3), neurotrophin-4 (NT-4)) production. This states that innovative therapeutic options must be proposed with the goal of protecting and restoring the tissue after the ischemic event. Such therapies are exposed in the present chapter.
Part of the book: Ischemic Stroke