Stroke is among the leading causes of death and disability worldwide. Restoring blood flow through recanalization is currently the only acute treatment for cerebral ischemia. Unfortunately, many patients that achieve a complete recanalization fail to regain functional independence. Recent studies indicate that activation of peripheral immune cells, particularly neutrophils, may contribute to microcirculatory failure and futile recanalization. Stroke primarily affects the elderly population, and mortality after endovascular therapies is associated with advanced age. Previous analyses of differential gene expression across injury status and age identify ischemic stroke as a complex age-related disease. It also suggests robust interactions between stroke injury, aging, and inflammation on a cellular and molecular level. Understanding such interactions is crucial in developing effective protective treatments. The global stroke burden will continue to increase with a rapidly aging human population. Unfortunately, the mechanisms of age-dependent vulnerability are poorly defined. In this review, we will discuss how neutrophil-specific gene expression patterns may contribute to poor treatment responses in stroke patients. We will also discuss age-related transcriptional changes that may contribute to poor clinical outcomes and greater susceptibility to cerebrovascular diseases.
Keywords: aging; collateral circulation; collaterals; futile recanalization; inflammaging; ischemia; neutrophils; stroke.
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