The development of effective interventional treatments for stroke has been an important research goal for many years. Major effort to date has appropriately focused on insult limitation, for example, utilizing thrombolytic therapy in the minutes to hours after the onset of symptoms to restore blood flow in a clogged cerebral artery. However, a complementary approach is to reduce the intrinsic vulnerability of brain parenchyma to hypoxic-ischemic damage. This latter parenchymal approach has gained both momentum and specific form from recent data suggesting that the toxic overactivation of neuronal glutamate receptors ‘excitotoxicity’- may contribute to the pathogenesis of hypoxicischemic neuronal death (Meldrum 1985; Rothman and Olney 1987; Choi 1988). Pharmacological agents directed at antagonizing excitotoxicity may provide a new class of neuroprotective drugs useful in reducing the brain damage associated with acute stroke.
KeywordsNMDA Receptor Glutamate Receptor Glutamate Release Excitatory Amino Acid NMDA Antagonist
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