Background: In the last decades the need to find new neuroprotective targets has addressed the researchers to investigate the endogenous molecular mechanisms that brain activates when exposed to a conditioning stimulus. Indeed, conditioning is an adaptive biological process activated by those interventions able to confer resistance to a deleterious brain event through the exposure to a sub-threshold insult. Specifically, preconditioning and postconditioning are realized when the conditioning stimulus is applied before or after, respectively, the harmul ischemia. Aims and Results: The present review will describe the most common methods to induce brain conditioning, with particular regards to surgical, physical exercise, temperature-induced and pharmacological approaches. It has been well recognized that when the subliminal stimulus is delivered after the ischemic insult, the achieved neuroprotection is comparable to that observed in models of ischemic preconditioning. In addition, subjecting the brain to both preconditioning as well as postconditioning did not cause greater protection than each treatment alone. Conclusions: The last decades have provided fascinating insights into the mechanisms and potential application of strategies to induce brain conditioning. Since the identification of intrinsic cell‐survival pathways should provide more direct opportunities for translational neuroprotection trials, an accurate examination of the different models of preconditioning and postconditioning is mandatory before starting any new project.
- Brain ischemia
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