This past year has been particularly important for researchers and clinicians dedicated to acute stroke therapy. The publication of results from the first large randomized clinical trials of intravenous thrombolytic therapy1,2 has finally demonstrated unequivocally that human ischemic stroke is a treatable disease. This momentous event has implications for all members of the stroke community, including patients, health care planners, and all clinical health professionals, especially neurologists and those involved in emergency patient care.
These results are also of critical interest to laboratory and clinical investigators. Over the past 5 years a healthy debate has developed in the stroke research community about the relevance of animal models to human stroke. The similarities and differences between stroke in patients vs rats, and between designing human clinical trials vs rodent experiments, have been discussed in detail3-6 and do not need to be repeated here. What lessons can we learn from