Recent developments in our understanding of the pathophysiological events that follow acute ischaemic stroke suggest an important role for angiogenesis which, through new blood vessel formation, results in improved collateral circulation and may impact on the medium-to-long term recovery of patients. Future treatment regimens may focus on optimization of this process in the ischaemic boundary zones or ‘penumbra’ region adjacent to the infarct, where partially affected neurons exposed to intermediate perfusion levels have the capability of survival if perfusion is maintained or normalized. In this review, we present evidence that angiogenesis is a key feature of ischaemic stroke recovery and neuronal post-stroke re-organization, examine the signalling mechanisms through which it occurs, and describe the therapeutic potential of treatments aimed at stimulating revascularization and neuroprotection after stroke.

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