A REVIEW OF THE IMPORTANCE OF GLUTATHIONE IN NEURODEGENERATIVE DISEASES
Innocent O. Imosemi*
Neurodegenerative diseases, including Huntington’s, Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases are known to deteriorate neural function in the peripheral or central nervous system and eventually result in the death of the nerve cells. The glutathione system is particularly vital for cellular defense against reactive oxygen species found in the brain cells, working non-stop in the decontamination of radicals in reactions that do not require enzymes and acting as a substrate for numerous peroxidases. Growing evidence suggests that there are other vital roles glutathione can play in the brain, especially in the case of neurodegenerative disease; a few of which are antioxidant defense, the decontamination of xenobiotic, and the regulation of intracellular redox homeostasis. Findings from various studies are suggestive of the fact that oxidative stress is a facilitator involved in neurodegenerative processes and may be an important event activating numerous forms of cell death. This review places emphases on glutathione synthesis and homeostasis, its therapeutic effects and the importance of glutathione in neurodegenerative diseases.
Keywords: Glutathione, oxidative stress, antioxidant defense, neurodegenerative diseases.
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