For the collection of aqueous humor, the participants were divided into two groups: the patients were diagnosed with central retinal vein occlusion who underwent intravitreal anti-VEGF injection and the patients with cataract surgery. The included criteria for central retinal vein occlusion are shown below: clinically detectable macular edema for more than 1 month, central subfield macular thickness (CSMT) of 300 μm or greater on spectral-domain optical coherence tomography (OCT), retinal capillary nonperfusion, and visual field defects. The average RVO history was 2.2 ± 0.5 months. Aqueous humor (AH) was collected under the surgical microscope before cataract surgery and anti-VEGF intravitreal injection. The AH samples were immediately transferred into the sterile tubes and centrifuged at 12,000 g for 5 min before storage at -80 °C until further analysis.

The peripheral blood was collected from the patients with stroke who had not experienced interventional or thrombolysis therapy within 24 h after their admission to the hospital. They had acute focal neurological deficits in combination with diffusion weighted imaging-positive lesions on magnetic resonance imaging, or a new lesion on a delayed CT scan. All subjects with Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease or other non-stroke induced neurological disorders were excluded. Non-stroke controls who received regular physical examinations were recruited as the normal controls. The blood containing 3 U/mL heparin was centrifuged at 3, 000 × g for 10 min at 4 °C. The plasma was carefully collected to avoid contamination by erythrocytes and kept at -80 °C until use.

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