Pharmacological activation of the cholinergic anti-inflammatory pathway (CAP), specifically by activating α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors, has been shown to confer short-term improvements in outcome. Most studies have investigated administration within 24 hours of stroke, and few have investigated drugs approved for use in human patients. We investigated whether delayed administration of varenicline, a high-affinity agonist at α7 nicotinic receptors and an established therapy for nicotine addiction, decreased brain inflammation and improved functional performance in a mouse model of experimental stroke.

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