Free radicals as mediators of neuronal injury

Fabrizio Facchinetti, Valina L. Dawson, Ted M. Dawson

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

248 Scopus citations


1. Free radicals may play an important role in several pathological conditions of the central nervous system (CNS) where they directly injure tissue and where their formation may also be a consequence of tissue injury. 2. Free radicals produce tissue damage through multiple mechanisms, including excitotoxicity, metabolic dysfunction, and disturbance of intracellular homeostasis of calcium. 3. Oxidative stress can significantly worsen acute insults, such as ischemia, as well as chronic neurodegenerative disorders including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and Parkinson's disease. 4. For instance, recent findings suggest a causal role for chronic oxidative stress in familial ALS, as this disease is linked to missence mutations of the copper/zinc superoxide dismutase (SOD). 5. Thus, therapeutic approaches which limit oxidative stress may be potentially beneficial in several neurological diseases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)667-682
Number of pages16
JournalCellular and molecular neurobiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 1998


  • Excitotoxicity
  • Glutamate
  • Hydroxyl radical
  • Nitric oxide
  • Peroxynitrite
  • Reactive oxygen species
  • Superoxide anion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Cell Biology


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