Apoptosis--or, as I prefer, ischemic neurolysis--is a deadly
process that may doom the neuron and its owner. But there's a silver lining
here, and by now you may have guessed what it is.
Apoptosis is a regulated process. In other words, there are
buttons that turn it on and buttons that turn it off. Moreover, apoptosis
takes time. For physicians interested in preserving neurons after brain
ischemia, that's cause for hope. All four of the Horsemen are potential targets
for therapy, but apoptosis is particularly inviting, because the cellular
mechanisms for suppressing it are already in place.
And that's as good a place as any to segue into the next
phase of this syllabus program--the potential for therapy.
Figure. There's hope.