Free radicals in Alzheimer’s dementia: currently available therapeutic strategies

  • M. Rösler
  • W. Retz
  • J. Thome
  • P. Riederer
Conference paper
Part of the Journal of Neural Transmission. Supplementa book series (NEURAL SUPPL, volume 54)


Substantial evidence now exists that oxidative stress may play an important role in the etiopathogenesis of DAT. The different sources of oxidative stress in DAT are suggesting several pharmacological opportunities for influencing the disease. It is possible to distinguish 2 major types of possible therapeutic agents according to their pharmacological point of attack.
  1. 1.

    Radical scavengers, agents directly interacting with free radicals. Candidates of this type are gingko biloba, vitamins A, C, E and estrogen.

  2. 2.

    Antioxidants, which are able to prevent or decrease the production of free radicals by use of specific neuropharmacological properties. Candidates are selegiline, a MAO-B inhibitor well established in the therapy of Parkinson’s disease, and tenilsetam, which is believed to be an AGE-inhibitor.


Recent in vitro studies have demonstrated the efficacy of both types of therapeutic agents by preventing or delaying oxidative neural damage.

Some clinical data exist regarding the antidementive properties particularly in terms of gingko biloba, selegiline and vitamin E. The efficacy studies about these compounds seem to indicate a promising future strategy in the therapy of DAT. But it is too early to draw definite conclusions since it is well kown that all of our candidate substances do not act specifically as radical scavengers or antioxidants.


Lcarni Tine Verum Group Parkinson Study Group Terpene Lactone Gingko Biloba 
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.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag/Wien 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Rösler
    • 1
  • W. Retz
    • 1
  • J. Thome
    • 1
  • P. Riederer
    • 1
  1. 1.Psychiatric DepartmentUniversity of WürzburgWürzburgFederal Republic of Germany

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