This chapter presents models for examining stroke-a devastating disease that represents the third leading cause of death in the United States. In focal ischemia models, the middle cerebral artery typically is occluded either permanently or temporarily to allow reperfusion. There are several different risk factors for ischemic stroke, including genetic factors, aging, hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, diabetes mellitus, atrial fibrillation, coagulation disorders, and smoking. The large variation in ethnic groups that have been studied, the variable sample size, and the dissimilar criteria in the selection of patients and controls have led to variable results, with few consistent findings. Whether hypercholesterolemia, a major risk factor for coronary heart disease, is associated with stroke is controversial and remains a matter of debate. Elevated levels of circulating cholesterol cause deposits to form inside blood vessels. Overeating, a sedentary lifestyle, smoking, and diets high in saturated and trans-fats and cholesterol and low in whole grains and vegetables increase the risk of stroke.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology