CNS Drugs

, Volume 20, Issue 6, pp 433–441 | Cite as

Antioxidants in Multiple Sclerosis

Do They Have a Role in Therapy?
  • Noel G. Carlson
  • John W. RoseEmail author
Leading Article


Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an immune-mediated disease, with inflammation and neurodegeneration contributing to neuronal demyelination and axonal injury. Current therapies for MS are directed toward modulation of the immune response; however, there is increasing evidence that oxidative stress is an important component in the pathogenesis of MS.

The inflammatory environment in demyelinating lesions is conducive to the generation of reactive oxygen species. When these species are generated in MS and animal models of MS, products such as peroxynitrite and Superoxide are formed that are highly toxic to cells. There are several examples of potential beneficial effects from various antioxidants in animal models of MS, but the efficacy may vary between different agents and, in some instances, may yield deleterious effects. Despite these promising results in animal models, there is limited and conflicting evidence of potential therapeutic effects of antioxidants such as vitamins C and E in treating MS. However, clinical trials in MS patients with more potent antioxidants, identified in animal studies, have been initiated.


Reactive Oxygen Species Nitric Oxide Multiple Sclerosis Uric Acid Glutamate Receptor 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



Research support was provided to Drs Rose and Carlson by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society (RG 3411-A-3) and VA merit grants, and NIH grant R01 AG20650-01 to Dr Carlson. We thank Angelynn Long for help with manuscript preparation.

Drs Rose and Carlson have received a research grant from Pfizer to study the effect of celecoxib in EAE. They have no conflicts of interest that are directly relevant to the content of this review.


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Copyright information

© Adis Data Information BV 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.GRECC, VASLCHCS, Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy, and Department of Neurology, and the Brain InstituteUniversity of UtahSalt Lake CityUSA
  2. 2.Neurovirology Research Laboratory, VASLCHCS, Department of Neurology and the Brain InstituteUniversity of UtahSalt Lake CityUSA

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