Humans are constantly exposed to free radicals created by electromagnetic radiation from the manmade environment such as pollutants and cigarette smoke. Natural resources such as radon, cosmic radiation, as well as cellular metabolisms (respiratory burst, enzyme reactions) also add free radicals to the environment.
Oxidative stress arises due to disturbed equilibrium between pro-oxidant/antioxidant homeostasis that further takes part in generation of ROS and free radicals those are potentially toxic for neuronal cells. The reason for neuronal cell hypersensitivity towards oxidative stress arises due to anatomic and metabolic factors.
Brain contains high level of fatty acids which are more susceptible to peroxidation, that consumes an inordinate fraction (20%) of total oxygen consumption for its relatively small weight (2%). In addition, it is not particularly enriched in antioxidant defenses. Brain is lower in antioxidant activity in comparison with other tissues, for example, about 10% of liver. Moreover, human brain has higher level of iron in certain regions and in general has high levels of ascorbate. As evident from above data, neural cells are considered to be more susceptible to oxidative damage as compared to other body tissues.
Most astounding effect of aging can be described as neurodegeneration associated with disturbed metal metabolism. In aged brain, accumulation of redox metals (Copper, Iron and Zinc) have been found to substantively increased due to concentration of metals by blood brain barrier (BBB) at junction of neuronal environment and blood vessels. This makes aged brain more prone to initiate neurodegeneration in vicinity of neuronal cells in brain.
It has been reported in epidemiological studies that many of antioxidant compounds posses anti inflammatory, antiatherosclerotic, antitumor, antimutagenic, anticarcinogenic, antibacterial and antiviral activities to greater or lesser extent. In many cases, increased oxidative stress is a widely associated in the development and progression of diabetes and its complications which are usually accompanied by increased production of free radicals or failure of antioxidant defense. Though the intake of natural antioxidants has been reported to reduce risk of cancer, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and other diseases associated with aging, there is considerable controversy in this area. Leukocytes and other phagocyte destroy bacteria, parasites and virus-infected cells with NO, O2, H2O2, and OCl, those are powerful oxidants and protect humans from infection. However, they cause oxidative damage and mutation to DNA and participate in the carcinogenic process if unchecked. In many cases, it is concluded that antioxidants modulate the pathophysiology of chronic inflammation up to some extent. Moreover, experiments and studies infer that antioxidants are needed to scavenge and prevent the formation of ROS and reactive nitrogen species (RNS); out of them, some are free radicals while some are not. There is growing evidence that oxidative damage to sperm DNA is increased when there is ascorbate insufficiency in diet. This strongly suggests the protective role of antioxidant in our daily diet.
There are clinical evidences that neurodegenerations can be ameliorated upon dietary intake or supplementary intake of natural antioxidants. Dietary intake contains variety of antioxidants vitamin supplements those play a vital role in neuroprotection in variety of neurological disorders.These natural antioxidants prevent oxidation of proteins, lipid peroxidations and prevent generation of ROS, thus act as upstream therapeutic barrier to OS.One of important futuristic upstream therapeutic aspect that can regulate oxidative stress to protect neuronal cells from death is vaccination against potential toxic protein formed in different types of neuronal disorders. A promising example is Amyloid-β vaccination in AD that prevents plaque formation and subsequent neuron inflammation. This could be a therapeutic strategy for other neurological...