Causes and Consequences of Oxidative Stress in Neurodegenerative Diseases
As people worldwide live to an older age, dementia, whose best-known risk factor is aging, has become a serious growing public health problem. While Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most frequent cause of dementia, other progressive neurodegenerative disorders can be responsible for it. For these reasons, they are grouped as non-AD dementias. There is evidence that reactive oxygen species-mediated reactions, particularly of neuronal lipids, are present in brains affected by both types of dementing disorders. Traditional views have claimed that oxidative-mediated brain injury in these diseases is merely the result of the neurodegenerative processes. While numerous investigations have shown that oxidative stress is increased in AD, conflicting results exist for the heterogeneous group of non-AD dementias. The availability of specific and sensitive markers to monitor in vivo oxidative stress, in combination with studies performed in living patients, are helping us to elucidate these issues. This paper summarizes some of the most recent research on the relevance of oxidative stress and lipid peroxidation in AD and non-AD dementias. The evidence accumulated so far clearly indicates that oxidative stress is an early and specificaspect of AD pathogenesis but not of the pathogenesis of other dementias. This new concept implies that this phenomenon is not a general and common pathway of the neurodegenerative process, but it may play a more specific and important role in AD than in non-AD dementias.
KeywordsMild Cognitive Impairment Progressive Supranuclear Palsy Frontotemporal Dementia Progressive Supranuclear Palsy Mild Cognitive Impairment Subject
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