Since the first description of Parkinson's disease (PD) nearly two centuries ago, a number of studies have revealed the clinical symptoms, pathology, and therapeutic approaches to overcome this intractable neurodegenerative disease. 1-methy-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) and 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) are neurotoxins which produce Parkinsonian pathology. From the animal studies using these neurotoxins, it has become well established that oxidative stress is a primary cause of, and essential for, cellular apoptosis in dopaminergic neurons. Here, we describe the mechanism whereby oxidative stress evokes irreversible cell death, and propose a novel therapeutic strategy for PD using molecular hydrogen. Hydrogen has an ability to reduce oxidative damage and ameliorate the loss of nigrostriatal dopaminergic neuronal pathway in two experimental animal models. Thus, it is strongly suggested that hydrogen might provide a great advantage to prevent or minimize the onset and progression of PD.
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