Current concepts in brain resuscitation
The area of cerebral resuscitation has become an exciting area of research in critical care medicine. It is a complicated field, however, which has seen attempts to protect the brain using a single therapy such as barbiturates ultimately disappoint investigators in the field. It is likely that much more work needs to be done in understanding the intracellular metabolic and biochemical effects of ischemia before therapies can be designed that are likely to be effective. This work might ultimately require knowledge of how ischemia or hypoxia interrupt cellular RNA and DNA machinery before these effective therapies can be developed. Before we are discouraged by the difficulty of the task, however, it is useful to review how much progress has been made in understanding the pathophysiology of ischemic brain injury in the past decade, so that we may be challenged to continue our efforts in this exciting area of critical care medicine.
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