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Antioxidant Therapies Seen as Promising Approach in Treating MS

August 4, 2016

An article published in the British Journal of Pharmacology assesses antioxidant approaches for treating neurodegenerative disorders such as MS.

This review notes that certain compounds associated with oxidative stress appear to be promising therapeutic targets for treating neurodegenerative disorders, with researchers investigating the potential for enhancing antioxidant capacity by targeting what’s known as the Nrf2 pathway — a major regulator of antioxidant response.

Potential strategies for limiting oxidative stress associated with the development of neurodegenerative diseases include reducing production of nitric oxide and preventing mitochondrial dysfunction. “There are still several gaps in our understanding of the basis of oxidative damage in neurodegenerative disorders. However, it is increasingly accepted that many diseases share common pathways of oxidative stress-related damage, and it’s likely that significant progress will be made in the design and implementation of effective therapeutic strategies in the next few years,” said Dr. Gethin McBean of the UCD Conway Institute of Biomolecular and Biomedical Research in Dublin, Ireland, and lead author of the British Journal of Pharmacology article.

They say it remains controversial as to whether microglial cells function beneficially or detrimentally in various neuropathological conditions, but that suppression of microglia-mediated inflammation has been considered an important strategy in neurodegenerative disease therapy. Several anti-inflammatory drugs have been shown to repress the microglial activation and to exert neuroprotective effects in the CNS, although the molecular mechanisms underlying these effects remain unclear.