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Abstract:Stroke, or ischaemic brain damage, is of great geriatric importance being the third most common cause of death after cancer and heart diseases in developed countries. Despite such high frequency, its management has received inadequate attention. Many studies have shown the role of free radicals in the pathogenesis of ischaemic brain damage. Search for safe and effective antioxidant and free radial scavenger agents, therefore, appear to be a promising approach for stroke therapy. Gold, widely used in modern medicine for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, is highly valued for various medicinal uses in Indian systems of medicine. Traditional gold preparations are attributed with tonic/rejuvenating and antioxidant properties. Our earlier studies revealed interesting analgesic, immunostimulant, adaptogenic and glycogen sparing properties in these preparations, but their effects in cerebral ischaemia have not been investigated. This prompted us to initiate the present study using global and focal models of ischaemia in albino rats. Enzymatic parameters (lipid peroxidase, reduced glutathione, catalase, glutathione reductase, glutathione-S-transferase, glutatione peroxidase, superoxide dismutase, and glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase) were employed to assess ischaemic brain damage and its modulation. Significant restoration of altered values to near normal levels by Ayurvedic Swarna Bhasma and Unani Kushta Tila Kalan (25 mg/kg, orally for 10 days), suggest potentials for gold preparations in cerebrovascular diseases. The preparations deserve more scientific attention for possible therapeutic exploitation.