Oxidative stress in brain is emerging as a potential causal factor in aging and age-related neurodegenerative disorders. Brain tissue from living patients is difficult to acquire; hence, animal models of aging and age-related neurodegenerative disorders, though not perfect models, have provided tissue to study the role of oxidative stress in these disorders. In this review, the central role of oxidative damage in models of accelerated aging (progeria and Werner's syndrome) and the age-related neurodegenerative disorders, Alzheimer's disease and Huntington's disease, will be presented and evaluated. To the extent that the animal models faithfully mirror their respective disorders, and based on the totality of the studies, it is apparent that oxidative stress, the excess of free radicals over the means of scavenging these harmful agents, may play critical roles in the molecular basis of accelerated aging, Alzheimer's disease, and Huntington's disease.
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Document Type: Review Article
Department of Chemistry, Center of Membrane Sciences and Sanders-Brown Center on Aging, 121 Chemistry-Physics Building, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40506-0055 USA.
Publication date: January 1, 2004