The contributions of antioxidant activity of lipoic acid in reducing neurogenerative progression of Parkinson's disease: a review

Int J Neurosci. 2011 Feb;121(2):51-7. doi: 10.3109/00207454.2010.535934. Epub 2010 Dec 2.


ABSTRACT This work reviews the evidence of the mechanism of neuronal degeneration in Parkinson's disease (PD) and the neuroprotective effect of lipoic acid and its use in the treatment of PD. PD is characterized by slow and progressive degeneration of dopaminergic neurons of the substantia nigra pars compacta, leading to reduction of the striatal dopaminergic terminals. It is known that several factors influence neuronal damage. Among these factors, oxidative stress, immune system activity, microglial cells, and apoptotic mechanisms are of major importance. Currently, several antioxidants have been studied with the aim of reducing/slowing the progression of neurodegenerative processes. Lipoic acid is considered a universal antioxidant because it is an amphipathic substance. Lipoic acid and its reduced form, dihidrolipoic acid, act against reactive oxygen species, reducing oxidative stress. Therefore, this antioxidant has been used in the treatment of many diseases, including a new perspective for the treatment of Parkinson's disease.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology
  • Antioxidants / therapeutic use*
  • Apoptosis / drug effects
  • Disease Progression
  • Humans
  • Nerve Degeneration / drug therapy*
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects
  • Parkinson Disease / drug therapy*
  • Parkinson Disease / pathology*
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / metabolism
  • Thioctic Acid / pharmacokinetics
  • Thioctic Acid / pharmacology
  • Thioctic Acid / therapeutic use*


  • Antioxidants
  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • Thioctic Acid