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Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2012;2012:795259. doi: 10.1155/2012/795259. Epub 2012 Jul 14.

Oxidative stress and epilepsy: literature review.

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School of Medicine, University of Fortaleza/RENORBIO, Rua Desembargador Floriano Benevides Magalhães, 221 3° Andar, 60811-690 Fortaleza, CE, Brazil.



The production of free radicals has a role in the regulation of biological function, cellular damage, and the pathogenesis of central nervous system conditions. Epilepsy is a highly prevalent serious brain disorder, and oxidative stress is regarded as a possible mechanism involved in epileptogenesis. Experimental studies suggest that oxidative stress is a contributing factor to the onset and evolution of epilepsy.


A review was conducted to investigate the link between oxidative stress and seizures, and oxidative stress and age as risk factors for epilepsy. The role of oxidative stress in seizure induction and propagation is also discussed.


Oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction are involved in neuronal death and seizures. There is evidence that suggests that antioxidant therapy may reduce lesions induced by oxidative free radicals in some animal seizure models. Studies have demonstrated that mitochondrial dysfunction is associated with chronic oxidative stress and may have an essential role in the epileptogenesis process; however, few studies have shown an established link between oxidative stress, seizures, and age.

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