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Psychopharmacol Bull. 1995;31(1):159-65.

Free radical involvement in neuropsychiatric illnesses.

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  • 1University of California, San Diego, USA.


Free radicals are highly reactive chemical species with an unpaired electron, and their formation is catalyzed by transition metals like iron, copper, and manganese. There have been numerous studies linking free radical damage with neuropsychiatric illnesses, including several psychiatric and motor disorders, raising the possibility that antioxidant strategies might serve a neuroprotective role for some conditions. The illnesses studied include tardive dyskinesia, schizophrenia, Parkinson's disease, and Alzheimer's disease. Although oxidative mechanisms may play a role in these conditions, further studies are necessary to define their involvement, and to determine the extent to which antioxidants may partially alleviate or prevent some of these conditions.

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