Glutathione--a review on its role and significance in Parkinson's disease

FASEB J. 2009 Oct;23(10):3263-72. doi: 10.1096/fj.08-125443. Epub 2009 Jun 19.


Parkinson's disease (PD) is the second most common neurodegenerative disease, affecting over a million people in the United States alone, and is characterized by rigidity, bradykinesia, resting tremor, and postural instability. Its main neuropathological feature is the loss of dopaminergic neurons of the substantia nigra pars compacta. However, the pathogenesis of this loss is not understood fully. One of the earliest biochemical changes seen in PD is a reduction in the levels of total glutathione, a key cellular antioxidant. Traditionally, it has been thought that this decrease in GSH levels is the consequence of increased oxidative stress, a process heavily implicated in PD pathogenesis. However, emerging evidence suggests that GSH depletion may itself play an active role in PD pathogenesis. This review aims to explore the contribution of GSH depletion to PD pathogenesis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Glutathione / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Parkinson Disease / drug therapy
  • Parkinson Disease / metabolism*


  • Glutathione