Background: Neurodegeneration is a condition in which progressive loss of function and
structure of neurons occurs. Several lines of evidence suggest that oxidative stress has a central role in
Objective: The aim was to survey molecular mechanisms underlying the involvement of oxidative
stress in developing different neurodegenerative diseases.
Methods: Original and review articles were retrieved through a PubMed and Google scholar search
(from 1989 to 2015) using the following key words: “oxidative stress”, “nerve degeneration” and
Results: A comprehensive analysis of the obtained articles confirmed strong involvement of oxidative
stress in the pathophysiology of neurodegenerative diseases through a variety of mechanisms including
induction of oxidation of nucleic acids, proteins and lipids, formation of advanced glycation end
products, mitochondrial dysfunction, glial cell activation, amyloid β deposition and plaque formation,
apoptosis, cytokine production and inflammatory responses, and proteasome dysfunction.
Conclusion: Regarding the pivotal role of oxidative stress in neurodegeneration, modulation of free
radical production or alleviating their harmful effects can be considered as a potential therapeutic
strategy for preventing and controlling neurodegenerative diseases. Accordingly; boosting endogenous
antioxidant capacity besides providing exogenous sources of antioxidants merits future research in order
to discover new therapeutic agents.