Liposome-encapsulated antioxidants have been tested in vivo to prevent oxidative attack during cerebral ischemia and reperfusion. Oxidative stress is a causal factor in the neuropathogenesis of ischemic-reperfusion injury. From the therapeutic point of view free chemical antioxidants were almost ineffective to protect cerebral tissues from those oxidative attacks. Thus an attempt has been made to prevent the oxidative damage due to the cerebral ischemic insult by the introduction of chemical antioxidants, ascorbic acid and alpha-tocopherol either encapsulated or intercalated in small unilamellar liposomes. The effectiveness of antioxidant-loaded liposomes was tested against an experimental in vivo rat model of global cerebral ischemia. Oxidative free radical attack on cerebral tissues by the ischemic insult and brief reperfusion was accounted for by the amount of diene production per unit of tissue protein. Diene production in ischemic reperfused rat brain increases almost twofold over that of the normal rats. Prevention of excess diene production has been attributed to rats when they were treated either with L-ascorbic acid-encapsulated liposomes or alpha-tocopherol intercalated liposomes 2 hours prior to the cerebral ischemic insult. Complete restriction of excess diene generation has also been achieved when a mixture of alpha-tocopherol and L-ascorbic acid-encapsulated liposomes were injected 3 hours before the ischemic infraction.