The importance of therapeutic hypothermia in selected categories of patients has been widely demonstrated. Laboratory, animal, and human studies permitted to understand the molecular mechanisms underlying cooling and its importance in preventing the ischemia/reperfusion injury of the brain. The development of new technologies offered the possibility to reach the desired temperature effectively and rapidly, reducing related side effects. Nevertheless, the application of systematic protocols of cooling has not been adequately reached in many hospitals. In this paper the most recent findings regarding hypothermia, its physiological bases and ways of application are reviewed.
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