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Biochem Mol Biol Int. 1997 Aug;42(5):937-47.

Free radicals in the cerebrospinal fluid are associated with neurological disorders including mitochondrial encephalomyopathy.

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Clinical Research Institute, National Minamiokayama Hospital, Okayama, Japan.


The free radical levels in the cerebrospinal fluid of 8 patients with neurological diseases and 9 undergoing lumbar anesthesia for surgery were measured. The ascorbate free radical level 10 min after lumbar puncture showed a positive correlation with the hydroxyl radical level. In the patient with mitochondrial encephalomyopathy, the levels of hydroxyl and ascorbate free radicals increased upon discontinuation of treatment and decreased upon its resumption, and the ascorbate free radical levels without therapy fell after lumbar puncture. The free radical levels in the cerebrospinal fluid may reflect the degree of oxidative stress in the central nervous system.

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