Oxidative stress treatment for clinical trials in neurodegenerative diseases

J Alzheimers Dis. 2011;24 Suppl 2:111-26. doi: 10.3233/JAD-2011-110164.


Oxidative stress is a metabolic condition arising from imbalance between the production of potentially reactive oxygen species and the scavenging activities. Mitochondria are the main providers but also the main scavengers of cell oxidative stress. The role of mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidative stress in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases is well documented. Therefore, therapeutic approaches targeting mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidative damage hold great promise in neurodegenerative diseases. Despite this evidence, human experience with antioxidant neuroprotectants has generally been negative with regards to the clinical progress of disease, with unclear results in biochemical assays. Here we review the antioxidant approaches performed so far in neurodegenerative diseases and the future challenges in modern medicine.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acetylcysteine / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology
  • Antioxidants / therapeutic use
  • Clinical Trials as Topic / methods*
  • Humans
  • Mitochondria / drug effects
  • Neurodegenerative Diseases / pathology
  • Neurodegenerative Diseases / physiopathology*
  • Neurodegenerative Diseases / therapy*
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects
  • Oxidative Stress / physiology*


  • Antioxidants
  • Acetylcysteine