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J Neuropathol Exp Neurol. 2006 Jul;65(7):631-41.

Involvement of oxidative stress in Alzheimer disease.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry and Neurology, Asahikawa Medical College, Asahikawa, Japan.

Abstract

Genetic and lifestyle-related risk factors for Alzheimer disease (AD) are associated with an increase in oxidative stress, suggesting that oxidative stress is involved at an early stage of the pathologic cascade. Moreover, oxidative stress is mechanistically and chronologically associated with other key features of AD, namely, metabolic, mitochondrial, metal, and cell-cycle abnormalities. Contrary to the commonly held notion that pathologic hallmarks of AD signify etiology, several lines of evidence now indicate that aggregation of amyloid-beta and tau is a compensatory response to underlying oxidative stress. Therefore, removal of proteinaceous accumulations may treat the epiphenomenon rather than the disease and may actually enhance oxidative damage. Although some antioxidants have been shown to reduce the incidence of AD, the magnitude of the effect may be modified by individual factors such as genetic predisposition (e.g. apolipoprotein E genotype) and habitual behaviors. Because caloric restriction, exercise, and intellectual activity have been experimentally shown to promote neuronal survival through enhancement of endogenous antioxidant defenses, a combination of dietary regimen of low total calorie and rich antioxidant nutrients and maintaining physical and intellectual activities may ultimately prove to be one of the most efficacious strategies for AD prevention.

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