Each year hundreds of thousands of people must cope with the severe neurological consequences of a stroke. Current therapeutic strategies for stroke focus on acute treatment and neuroprotection. Unfortunately, these practices do little to reduce the long-term morbidity associated with the injury. To develop effective therapies that promote regeneration, we must have an understanding of the cellular and molecular events involved in the recovery from an insult. Neural stem and progenitor cells are likely to be affected during this period. Here we review how the proliferation, migration, and maturation of these precursors are affected by ischemia. Furthermore, we summarize data available on the underlying mechanisms and the therapeutic implications of these studies. The studies that we review provide compelling evidence that neural precursors resident in the brain initiate a compensatory response to stroke that results in the production of new neurons. Moreover, administration of growth factors can enhance this compensatory response. Based on these encouraging results, we may eventually be able to manipulate these precursors to improve recovery of function in individuals afflicted by this devastating injury.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
- Stem cells