Stroke is the third leading cause of human death. Endothelial dysfunction, thrombogenesis, inflammatory and oxidative stress damage, and angiogenesis play an important role in cerebral ischemic pathogenesis and represent a target for prevention and treatment. Statins have been found to improve endothelial function, modulate thrombogenesis, attenuate inflammatory and oxidative stress damage, and facilitate angiogenesis far beyond lowering cholesterol levels. Statins have also been proved to significantly decrease cardiovascular risk and to improve clinical outcome. Could statins be the new candidate agent for the prevention and therapy in ischemic stroke? In recent years, a vast expansion in the understanding of the pathophysiology of ischemic stroke and the pleiotropic effects of statins has occurred and clinical trials involving statins for the prevention and treatment of ischemic stroke have begun. These facts force us to revisit ischemic stroke and consider new strategies for prevention and treatment. Here, we survey the important developments in the non-lipid dependent pleiotropic effects and clinical effects of statins in ischemic stroke.
Keywords: Clinical effects, endothelial dysfunction, inflammation, ischemic stroke, oxidative stress, statins, thrombogenesis.