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Time-of-day significantly influences the severity and incidence of stroke. Evidence has emerged not only for circadian governance over stroke risk factors, but also for important determinants of clinical outcome. In this review, we provide a comprehensive overview of the interplay between chronobiology and cerebrovascular disease. We discuss circadian regulation of pathophysiological mechanisms underlying stroke onset or tolerance as well as in vascular dementia. This includes cell death mechanisms, metabolism, mitochondrial function, and inflammation/immunity. Furthermore, we present clinical evidence supporting the link between disrupted circadian rhythms and increased susceptibility to stroke and dementia. We propose that circadian regulation of biochemical and physiological pathways in the brain increase susceptibility to damage after stroke in sleep and attenuate treatment effectiveness during the active phase. This review underscores the importance of considering circadian biology for understanding the pathology and treatment choice for stroke and vascular dementia and speculates that considering a patient’s chronotype may be an important factor in developing precision treatment following stroke.

Original publication




Journal article


Circulation Research


Ovid Technologies (Wolters Kluwer Health)

Publication Date





770 - 790