By Danielle Houghton
UF department of neuroscience associate professor, Eduardo Candelario-Jalil, Ph. D., explores the “impact of aging and comorbidities on ischemic stroke outcomes in preclinical animal models: A translational perspective” in an invited review article for a special issue of Experimental Neurology.
In an ischemic stroke, the sudden loss of blood flow to certain regions of the brain leads to severe damage, leading to the formation of an infarcted tissue. This leaves functionally impaired but potentially salvageable tissue. This tissue, known as the penumbral tissue in these cases is ‘the main target for the development of neuroprotective strategies to minimize the extent of ischemic brain damage by timely therapeutic intervention.’
Until recently, a large number of neuroprotective drugs have been identified as potential therapies. However, ‘none of these interventions have shown therapeutic benefits in stroke patients in clinical trials.’
This study summarized recent findings of the impact of comorbidities and aging on ischemic stroke outcomes in stroke patients and animal models of ischemic stroke. Recent findings show the significant differences in stroke outcome between young and aged animals, and ‘how major comorbid conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, obesity and hyperlipidemia dramatically increase the vulnerability of the brain to ischemic damage that eventually results in worse functional outcomes.’
In Candelario-Jalil words, the research “emphasized the need to have better preclinical models of stroke that more accurately mimic the stroke population by incorporating aged and reproductively senescent rodents, as well as animals with comorbid conditions (diabetes, hypertension, obesity).”
“Incorporating aged animals and/or animals suffering from comorbidities in preclinical stroke modeling will improve the success in translating preclinical stroke research into the clinic,” says Candelario-Jalil who specializes in stroke research.