Academic Editor: Emilia Salvadori
Stroke induces complex pathological cascades in the affected brain area, leading to brain injury and functional disability. To fight against cerebral ischemia/reperfusion-induced neuronal death, numerous neuroprotective strategies and reagents have been studied. However, translation of these neuroprotective drugs to clinical trials has been unsuccessful. To date, the tissue plasminogen activator is still the only FDA-approved drug for treating ischemic stroke. Thus, it is obligatory to identify and validate additional therapeutic strategies for stroke. A stroke rarely occurs without any other pathophysiological condition; but instead, it often has multi-morbidity conditions, one of which is cardiac disease. Indeed, up to half of the stroke cases are associated with cardiac and large artery diseases. As an adequate blood supply is essential for the brain to maintain its normal function, any pathophysiological alterations in the heart are frequently implicated in stroke outcomes. In this review, we summarize some of the cardiovascular factors that influence stroke outcomes and propose that considering these factors in designing stroke therapies should enhance success in clinical trials. We also highlight the recent advances regarding the potential effect of protein aggregates in a peripheral organ, such as in the heart, on ischemic stroke-caused brain injury and functional recovery. Including these and other comorbidity factors in the future therapeutic strategy designs should facilitate translational success toward developing effective combinational therapies for the disorder.