Neuroprotection for CNS disorders

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By K K Jain MD

Neuroprotection involves prevention of neuronal death by inhibiting 1 or more of the pathophysiological steps in the processes that follow brain injury or ischemia due to occlusion of a cerebral artery or neurodegenerative processes. In this clinical article, Dr. K K Jain, a neurology consultant in Basel, Switzerland, classifies various neuroprotective agents and describes a few of these. Examples of clinical conditions are given to show application of neuroprotective drugs and nonpharmacological methods.

Key points

  • The concept of neuroprotection is now important in many diseases that were once only treated symptomatically and in which a disease-modifying approach is desirable.
  • Neuroprotective agents have an important role in the management of neurodegenerative disorders as well as acute insults such as CNS trauma, cerebral ischemia, and iatrogenic hypoxia/ischemia during surgical procedures.
  • Neuroprotective strategies are also required to protect the brain against toxic effects of chemicals and drugs.
  • There are numerous neuroprotective agents from several pharmacological as well as nonpharmaceutical categories.