Cerebral tolerance: a new challenge to identify targets for cerebral protection

Abstract : Ischemia and seizures are common diseases that result in neuronal death. To-date, there are no available treatments to block or reverse neuronal death pathways in patients who suffer from these diseases. All drugs that have been shown to be neuroprotective in animal models have failed in human trials. Therefore, the potential of preventative strategies for therapy is increasingly explored. Experimental studies have demonstrated that a brief cerebral ischemic insult, that is not harmful by itself, results in a temporary protective adaptation in the brain against a subsequent ischemic episode that would otherwise be lethal. This process, termed ischemic preconditioning, has been confirmed in different models of cerebral ischemia. A similar phenomenon observed after a mild epileptic insult conferred a transitory tolerance to a subsequent epileptic episode. This process is termed epileptic tolerance. Other stresses, like hyperthermia or spreading depression, also enhanced brain resistance to detrimental effects of ischemic or epileptic injury. Recently, a cross tolerance between ischemia and epilepsy has been reported. Also, some retrospective studies in humans suggest that endogenous ischemic preconditioning exists in the brain. Altogether these insights of brain tolerance point to the future discovery of potentially useful targets for acute neuroprotection as well as preventive therapy.
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Nicolas Blondeau, Catherine Heurteaux. Cerebral tolerance: a new challenge to identify targets for cerebral protection. médecine/sciences, EDP Sciences, 2004, 20 (12), pp.1109-1114. ⟨10.1051/medsci/200420121109⟩. ⟨hal-02266270⟩

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