Animal Models of Ischemia

  • Justin A. Zivin
Part of the Advances in Neuroprotection book series (AN, volume 22)


There is no generally accepted specific therapy for most types of focal strokes. A major problem in rational development of therapies has been the difficulty determining whether a proposed therapy is effective. Appropriate studies in patients are complex, and few animal models are adequate for realistic and efficient tests of pharmacologic methods to reduce damage or restore neurologic function. Most cerebral stroke models have not been designed to detect whether therapy reduces neurologic injury but are intended to mimic the clinical and pathologic features of human strokes. For pharmacologic trials, a method of producing incremental grades of destruction is desirable and this is difficult to achieve with most focal stroke models. Also, regardless of the species, the infarcts vary unpredictably in size and distribution (Molinari and Laurent, 1976; Yatsu, 1976; Waltz, 1979). This degree of variability makes therapeutic trials expensive because many subjects are required. Similarly, biochemical analysis is hampered by the inability to predict the precise locations of lesions, and the marked biochemical heterogeneity of the brain complicates interpretation of the results. Since no single technique is optimal for all types of investigations, we have developed a series of stroke models that we use in a coordinated fashion for biochemical and pharmacologic studies of focal ischemia.


Spinal Cord Neurologic Function Focal Cerebral Ischemia Cresyl Violet Stroke Model 
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© Birkhäuser Boston 1992

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  • Justin A. Zivin

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