Gene therapy of cerebrovascular disease

Introduction
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By K K Jain MD

The aim of gene therapy in stroke is to prevent secondary damage after cerebral infarction. Treatments are also aimed at correcting the pathology in blood vessels supplying the brain. This article describes various experimental techniques for gene transfer in cerebrovascular disorders. Direct gene transfer to the brain in acute infarction is unlikely to be practical, but implantation of genetically modified cells releasing neurotrophic factors may aid in the recovery in chronic poststroke stage. Gene therapy also has promising applications in diseases of blood vessels supplying the brain.

Key points

  • The aim of gene therapy in stroke is to prevent secondary damage after an episode of cerebral ischemia or infarction.
  • Gene therapy is also being investigated for disorders of cerebral blood vessels.
  • Experiments in animal models have demonstrated the safety and efficacy of gene therapy for cerebrovascular diseases.
  • Clinical trials for applications in cerebrovascular diseases in humans are anticipated in the near future.

In This Article

Introduction
Historical note and nomenclature
Indications
Contraindications
Goal
Description
Results and effects
Adverse effects
References cited
Contributors