Chemistry and Biochemistry of Oxidative Stress in Neurodegenerative Disease
The age-related neurodegenerative diseases exemplified by Alzheimer's disease (AD), Lewy body diseases such as Parkinson's disease (PD), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and Huntington's disease are characterized by the deposition of abnormal forms of specific proteins in the brain. Although several factors appear to underlie the pathological depositions, the cause of neuronal death in each disease appears to be multifactorial. In this regard, evidence in each case for a role of oxidative stress is provided by the finding that the pathological deposits are immunoreactive to antibodies recognizing protein side-chains modified either directly by reactive oxygen or nitrogen species, or by products of lipid peroxidation or glycoxidation. Although the source(s) of increased oxidative damage are not entirely clear, the findings of increased localization of redox-active transition metals in the brain regions most affected is consistent with their contribution to oxidative stress. It is tempting to speculate that free radical oxygen chemistry plays a pathogenetic role in all these neurodegenerative conditions, though it is as yet undetermined what types of oxidative damage occur early in pathogenesis, and what types are secondary manifestations of dying neurons. Delineation of the profile of oxidative damage in each disease will provide clues to how the specific neuronal populations are differentially affected by the individual disease conditions.
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Document Type: Review Article
Publication date: 2001-06-01
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