Early reopening of the occluded artery is, thus, important in ischemic stroke, and it has been calculated that 2 million neurons die every minute in an ischemic stroke if no effective therapy is given; therefore, "Time is Brain." In massive hemispheric infarction and edema, surgical decompression lowers the risk of death or severe disability defined as a modified Rankin Scale score greater than 4 in selected patients. The majority, around 80%-85% of all ischemic stroke victims, does not fulfill the criteria for revascularization therapy, and also for these patients, there is no effective acute therapy. Also there is no established effective acute treatment of spontaneous intracerebral bleeding. Therefore, an effective therapy applicable to all stroke victims is needed. The neuroprotective drug citicoline has been extensively studied in clinical trials with volunteers and more than 11,000 patients with various neurologic disorders, including acute ischemic stroke (AIS). The conclusion is that citicoline is safe to use and may have a beneficial effect in AIS patients and most beneficial in less severe stroke in older patients not treated with recombinant tissue plasminogen activator. No other neuroprotective agent had any beneficial effect in confirmative clinical trials or had any positive effect in the subgroup analysis. Citicoline is the only drug that in a number of different clinical stroke trials continuously had some neuroprotective benefit.
Journal of Stroke and Cerebrovascular Diseases : the Official Journal of National Stroke Association, 2014, Vol 23, Issue 7, p. 1764-9