Novel Therapeutic Targets in Depression and Anxiety: Antioxidants as a Candidate Treatment
Ying Xu, Chuang Wang, Jonathan J. Klabnik and James M. O’Donnell
Affiliation: School of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences, State University of New York at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY 14214, USA.
Keywords: Antidepressants, antioxidants, depression and anxiety, oxidative stress, oxidative stress pathway.
There is growing evidence that the imbalance between oxidative stress and the antioxidant defense system may
be associated with the development neuropsychiatric disorders, such as depression and anxiety. Major depression and
anxiety are presently correlated with a lowered total antioxidant state and by an activated oxidative stress (OS) pathway.
The classical antidepressants may produce therapeutic effects other than regulation of monoamines by increasing the
antioxidant levels and normalizing the damage caused by OS processes. This chapter provides an overview of recent work
on oxidative stress markers in the animal models of depression and anxiety, as well as patients with the aforementioned
mood disorders. It is well documented that antioxidants can remove the reactive oxygen species (ROS) and reactive
nitrogen species (RNS) through scavenging radicals and suppressing the OS pathway, which further protect against
neuronal damage caused oxidative or nitrosative stress sources in the brain, hopefully resulting in remission of depression
or anxiety symptoms. The functional understanding of the relationship between oxidative stress and depression and
anxiety may pave the way for discovery of novel targets for treatment of neuropsychiatric disorders.
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