We studied the effects of myocardial infarction (MI) on the parameters of free radical oxidation and the activity of caspase-3 in the neocortex and brainstem of rats. The accumulation of thiobarbituric acid-reactive products and impairment of antioxidant status, as well as the activation of caspase-3 were found in the brain after MI. We found functional differences between the MI-induced responses of neurochemical systems of the brainstem and neocortex. Administration of Deltaran at a dose of 12 μg/100 g of body weight prior to MI partly prevented the accumulation of thiobarbituric acid-reactive products and activation of caspase-3 in the brainstem during the early period of MI. However, caspase-3 activity remained to be elevated during the cicatrisation period.