Part of the book: Olive Germplasm
A case of spinal cord injury (SCI) is defined as the occurrence of an acute traumatic lesion of neural elements in the spinal canal (spinal cord and cauda equina), resulting in temporary or permanent sensory and/or motor deficit. Most studies on traumatic SCI show a bimodal age distribution, with a first peak in young adulthood and a second peak in older adults. Spinal cord trauma activates a cascade of events that exacerbates the damage such as activation of inflammatory process that determinates cytokine and chemokine production and that generates reduction in functional recovery resulting in necrosis or apoptosis of neurons. However, the precise mechanism of SCI-induced inflammatory response remains not fully understood at present. Current strategy to treat damage to the spinal cord is limited, only the treatment with methylprednisolone (MP), if administered in excessive dose during the acute phase of the damage, could ameliorate patients with severe SCI. However, associated to the beneficial effects, there are growing evidence that high-dose of MP is correlated to increased risk of infections, pneumonia and gastrointestinal bleeding. Therefore, there is a necessity to develop new therapies to treat SCI; one of these is to selectively reduce inflammation that possess unique role in the processes of injury and recovery.
Part of the book: Recovery of Motor Function Following Spinal Cord Injury
Many neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, multiple sclerosis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and age-related disorders are caused due to altered function or mutation in ion channels. Ion channels are important in maintaining cell homeostasis because they affect membrane potential and play a critical role in neurotransmitter secretion. As a result, it appears that a potential antiaging therapy strategy should consider treating multiple diseases at the same time or focusing on identifying a common target among the biological processes implicated in aging. In this chapter, we will go over some of the fundamental ideas of ion channel function in aging, as well as an overview of how ion channels operate in some of the most common aging-related disorders.
Part of the book: Ion Transporters
Inflammation is a biological reaction to oxidative stress in which cell starts producing proteins, enzymes, and other substances to restore homeostasis, while oxidative stress could be intrinsically a biochemical imbalance of the physiologically redox status of the intracellular environment. The nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2)/antioxidant response element (ARE) pathway, which controls the transcription of numerous antioxidant genes that protect cellular homeostasis and detoxification genes that process and eliminate all toxic compounds and substances before they can cause damage. The Nrf2 pathway is the heart of the daily biological response to oxidative stress. Transient activation of Nrf2 by diet can upregulate antioxidant enzymes to protect cells against oxidative stress inducers. In this chapter, we summarize the effects of some novel foods in the regulation of the Nrf2/ARE pathway and its cellular mechanisms.
Part of the book: Recent Developments in Antioxidants from Natural Sources