Although problems relating to hyperthermia and heat stroke are well known since biblical times, until now the influence of heat or hyperthermia on the central nervous system has not been well documented. This book is the first to describe in detail the influences of hyperthermia on the CNS using the modern technology which has developed in the last 50 years in neuroscience. Hyperthermia is a common feature during fever, radiotherapy of tumours and exercise in hot environment. Statistically, hyperthermia and/or heat stroke is currently recognised as the third largest killer in America after head and spinal trauma and heart failure. However, studies on the mechanisms of heat-induced death or damage to the CNS are still lacking. This book aims to define the probable mechanisms of brain damage in hyperthermia which could be responsible for death of victims. Rational therapeutic measures based on the experimental findings are also described.
The most important new aspect of the CNS function in hyperthermia suggests that the basic mechanisms of cell injury appears to be quite similar in nature. The severity of cell injury depends chiefly on the magnitude of the primary insult. Thus, it appears that hyperthermic brain injury is similar to the situation of trauma, ischemia and infarction. Baring this in mind, this book describes suitable models for hyperthermic injury which could be highly relevant to the study of mechanisms of cell injury in the CNS and to test various neuroprotective agents which may be found useful in the treatment of various traumatic, ischemic or degenerative diseases.
In general the book will increase our basic understanding of brain function in hot environment and increase our awareness regarding heat as an important factor influencing our brain function at a time when global warming is described as a potential hazard to the biological system.
This book is a refereed collection of 24 chapters written by several eminent scientists from different disciplines involved in basic and applied research in the CNS from various parts of the globe. It is hoped that the new aspects of brain function in hot environment compiled in this volume will provide an up-to-date ready reference which may serve as a strong scientific stimulus to many workers in this emerging field of neuroscience. Stimulating the exploration of the subject with novel ideas and/or experimental and clinical approaches in the future.