Stroke represents an important health problem with serious implications even in the social sphere. Prevention and therapy of this disease has not been satisfactory as yet. The role of ischemia (hypoxia as well as of reperfusion) reoxygenation in the pathogenesis of stroke and neurotrauma is briefly discussed. It is emphasized that an oxidative stress due to activation of spontaneous regulatory mechanisms and/or vigorous reperfusion therapy in such patients may, paradoxically, increase the risk of an additional impairment of nervous tissue leading to worsening of the patient's prognosis. A complex chain of processes triggered by nervous tissue hypoxia including the role of excitatory amino acids, calcium overload and reactive oxygen species is described. Principles of contemporary routine pharmacotherapy of stroke and neurotrauma as well as aims of experimental therapy are briefly outlined. Relevant preclinical data concerning the protective action of the novel antioxidant and free-radical scavenger pyridoindole stobadine on nervous tissue in oxidative stress are summarized. The presented data may contribute to the improvement of prevention and/or therapy of stroke and neurotrauma.