Mechanisms of brain injury after global cerebral ischemia

Izumi Harukuni, Anish Bhardwaj

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

239 Scopus citations


Cerebral ischemia results in a rapid depletion of energy stores that triggers a complex cascade of cellular events such as cellular depolarization and Ca2+ influx, resulting in excitotoxic cell death. The critical determinant of severity of brain injury is the duration and severity of the ischemic insult and early restoration of CBF. Induced therapeutic hypothermia following CA is the only strategy that has demonstrated improvement in outcomes in prospective, randomized clinical trials. Although pharmacologic neuroprotection has been disappointing thus far in a variety of experimental animal models, further research efforts are directed at using some agents that demonstrate marginal or moderate efficacy in combination with hypothermia. Although the signal transduction pathways and intracellular molecular events during cerebral ischemia and reperfusion are complex, potential therapeutic neuroprotective strategies hold promise for the future.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-21
Number of pages21
JournalNeurologic Clinics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2006
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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