Stroke is the third leading cause of death after myocardial infarction and cancer and the leading cause of permanent disability in western countries [386, 387]. Furthermore, it is the leading cause of disability adjusted loss of independent life years. Aside from the tragic consequences for the patients and their families, the socio-economic impact of more or less disabled stroke survivors is evident as stroke patients with permanent deficits such as hemiparesis and aphasia will frequently not be able to live independently or pursue an occupation. The added indirect and direct cost estimates for a survived stroke vary between 35000 and 50000 US$ per year. In the face of our aging population and the skewed population pyramid, the incidence and prevalence of stroke is expected to rise. Therefore, an effective treatment for this devastating disease is desperately needed.