Free radicals play major roles in the pathogenesis of many diseases, including neurologic diseases, making them an attractive target for therapeutic intervention. Several free radical scavengers have been developed, and some have progressed to clinical trials for the treatment of ischemic stroke. One such scavenger, edaravone is currently used to treat patients who present within 24 h of an attack. Edaravone can diffuse into many affected organs. Edaravone also exerts protective effects against brain and spinal cord injuries. Beyond its direct free radical scavenging effect, edaravone has anti-apoptotic and anti-inflammatory effects in various diseases. Here, we critically review the literature on experimental animal model and clinical studies of edaravone efficacy, and examine whether it should be considered a candidate for worldwide development. Edaravone has proven safe during 10 years of use as a free radical scavenger to treat ischemic stroke. In addition to ischemic stroke treatment, animal data suggest that edaravone may be an effective treatment option for several neurologic diseases, but additional clinical trials are necessary to verify its efficacy.
Last date updated on June, 2014