Free radicals and neuronal cell death

Research output: Contribution to journalShort surveypeer-review


Production of oxygen free radicals is a natural consequence of aerobic metabolism and they are constantly generated in vivo by chemical reactions and metabolic processes. Antioxidant defence systems scavenge and minimise the formation of oxygen-radical derived biochemical products, however, these defences are not completely effective even under normal physiological conditions. In pathologic situations, oxygen free radicals can be generated in excess of a cell's antioxidant capacity resulting in severe damage to cellular constitutents including proteins, DNA and lipids. The inherent biochemical and physiological characteristics of the brain, including high lipid concentrations and energy requirements, make it particularly susceptible to free radical mediated insult. Increasing evidence indicates that many neurological disorders may have components of free radical and oxidative stress induced injury.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)71-78
Number of pages8
JournalCell Death and Differentation
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 13 1996


  • Apoptosis
  • Cell death
  • Free radicals
  • Nitric oxide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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