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Rats bear a humbling resemblance to humans. Every type of cell in our brains has a counterpart in the rat's. Ginsberg makes a convincing case regarding the basic homology between the brains of rodents and humans and the similarity of ischemic mechanisms. Grotta agrees that much useful information can be gained from animal models, including the prediction of a time window. However, the paradox remains. More than 100 compounds have been shown to be protective in experimental stroke models, but not a single one has yet been shown to be effective in human ischemic stroke. From laboratory to bedside, what is lost in translation?
Ginsberg suggests that not enough attention is paid to the animal data, particularly in regard to the short time of the therapeutic window of 3 to 4 hours. Grotta further points out that dosage, magnitude of efficacy, and outcomes cannot be determined reliably from animal models.
Hachinski V. Relevance of Rodent Models of Stroke. Arch Neurol. 1996;53(10):1070. doi:10.1001/archneur.1996.00550100156026
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