, Volume 24, Issue 11, pp 1479-1497

Stress, Aging, and Brain Oxidative Damage

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Abstract

Stress may contribute to aging acceleration and age-related degenerative diseases. Stress and adaptation to stress require numerous homeostatic adjustments including hormones, neurotransmitters, oxidants, and other mediators. The stress-induced hormones, neurotransmitters, and oxidants all have beneficial, but also harmful effects if out of balance. Therefore, the homeostasis of stress and adaptation should be governed by the hormone balance, neurotransmitter balance, and oxidant balance, as well as the interactions among these substances. The imbalance and the over-interaction of these balances may ultimately cause increased oxidant generation and oxidative damage to biomolecules. This increased oxidative damage may add to the oxidant burden associated with normal aerobic metabolism, which in itself, generates oxidants, causes accumulation of oxidative damage in mitochondria, and contributes to normal aging. Therefore, the stress-associated increase of oxidative damage may, in part, contribute to stress-associated aging acceleration and age-related neurodegenerative diseases.