Effective efforts to screen for agents that protect against the devastating effects of stroke have not produced viable
results thus far. As a result this article reviews the possible role of ethanol as a neuroprotective agent in stroke and
traumatic brain injury (TBI). Previous studies have associated ethanol consumption with a decreased risk of ischemic
stroke, suggesting a neuroprotective mechanism. The translation of this clinical knowledge into basic science research
with the goal of new therapy for acute stroke patients remains in its initial stages. In a recent study involving rats, we have
shown that ethanol administration, in the correct dose after stroke onset, protects against ischemia-induced brain injury.
The purpose of this paper is to discuss ethanol’s neuroprotective properties in stroke when consumed as a preconditioning
agent, in TBI with a positive blood alcohol content, and finally in stroke treatment, with the goal of using post-ischemia
ethanol (PIE) therapy to ameliorate brain damage in the future.
Keywords: Ethanol, alcohol, stroke therapy, ischemia/reperfusion injury, traumatic brain injury therapy, neuroprotection
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