The use of theranostics in neurosciences has been rare to date because of the limitations imposed on the free delivery of substances to the brain by the blood-brain barrier. Here we report the development of a theranostic system for the treatment of stroke, a leading cause of death and disability in developed countries. We first performed a series of proteomic, immunoblotting and immunohistological studies to characterize the expression of molecular biomarkers for the so-called peri-infarct tissue, a key region of the brain for stroke treatment. We confirmed that the HSP72 protein is a suitable biomarker for the peri-infarct region, as it is selectively expressed by at-risk tissue for up to 7 days following cerebral ischemia. We also describe the development of anti-HSP72 vectorized stealth immunoliposomes containing imaging probes to make them traceable by conventional imaging techniques (fluorescence and MRI) that were used to encapsulate a therapeutic agent (citicoline) for the treatment of cerebral ischemia. We tested the molecular recognition capabilities of these nano-platforms in vitro together with their diagnostic and therapeutic properties in vivo, in an animal model of cerebral ischemia. Using MRI, we found that 80% of vectorized liposomes were located on the periphery of the ischemic lesion, and animals treated with citicoline encapsulated on these liposomes presented lesion volumes up to 30% smaller than animals treated with free (non-encapsulated) drugs. Our results show the potential of nanotechnology for the development of effective tools for the treatment of neurological diseases.