Neurodegenerative diseases are debilitating disorders which compromise motor or cognitive functions and are rapidly becoming a global communal disorder with over 46.8 million people suffering dementia worldwide. Aetiological studies have showed that people who are exposed to agricultural, occupational and environmental toxic chemicals that can interfere and degenerate dopaminergic neurons are prone to developing neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson Disease. The complex pathogenesis of the neurodegenerative diseases remains largely unknown; however, mounting evidence suggests that oxidative stress, neuroinflammation, protein misfolding, and apoptosis are the hallmarks of the diseases. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are chemically reactive molecules that have been implicated in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases. ROS play a critical role as high levels of oxidative stress are commonly observed in the brain of patients with neurodegenerative disorders. This chapter focus on the sources of ROS in the brain, its involvement in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases and possible ways to mitigate its damaging effects in the affected brain.
Part of the book: Reactive Oxygen Species