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Metab Brain Dis. 1997 Jun;12(2):137-43.

Increased cerebral free radical production during thiamine deficiency.

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Dept. of Psychology, San Diego State University, CA 92120, USA.


Concentration of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and the antioxidant glutathione (GSH) was measured in thalamus and cortex after 13 and 14 days of pyrithiamine-induced thiamine deficiency (PTD) in the rat. The concentration of ROS was significantly elevated in thalamus and cortex on day 14 when righting reflexes were absent and spontaneous seizures occurred. No significant changes in GSH concentration were observed in thalamus or cortex on either day of treatment. These findings suggest that increased formation of free radicals occurs during the more acute symptomatic stage of thiamine deficiency and may contribute to the structural damage described in this model of Wernicke's encephalopathy.

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