We appreciate the comments made by Dr Tu and Dr Chen about our recent paper published in Clinical Science [1]. In their letter, they suggest that the results shown in our paper were caused by gender, rather than acute ischaemic stroke.

It is well known that gender influences the type of stroke and also the outcome; for example, in female patients, the rate of atrial fibrillation and cardioembolic stroke is higher, and many of them present with larger ischaemic volumes and worse outcome. Moreover, stroke in women usually appears in advanced age. However, we do not agree with the idea that molecular mechanisms of stroke involved in the clinic and in the elderly population depend on gender.

The comments suggested by Dr Tu and Dr Chen are based on two studies. In the first study [2],...

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