The role of oxidative stress in Parkinson’s disease

Kuo Hsuan Chang, Chiung Mei Chen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

145 Scopus citations


Parkinson’s disease (PD) is caused by progressive neurodegeneration of dopaminergic (DAergic) neurons with abnormal accumulation of α‐synuclein in substantia nigra (SN). Studies have suggested the potential involvement of dopamine, iron, calcium, mitochondria and neuroinflammation in contributing to overwhelmed oxidative stress and neurodegeneration in PD. Function studies on PD‐causative mutations of SNCA, PRKN, PINK1, DJ‐1, LRRK2, FBXO7 and ATP13A2 further indicate the role of oxidative stress in the pathogenesis of PD. Therefore, it is reasonable that molecules involved in oxidative stress, such as DJ‐1, coenzyme Q10, uric acid, 8‐hydroxy‐2’‐deoxyguanosin, homocysteine, retinoic acid/carotenes, vitamin E, glutathione peroxidase, superoxide dismutase, xanthine oxidase and products of lipid peroxidation, could be candidate biomarkers for PD. Applications of antioxidants to modulate oxidative stress could be a strategy in treating PD. Although a number of antioxidants, such as creatine, vitamin E, coenzyme Q10, pioglitazone, melatonin and desferrioxamine, have been tested in clinical trials, none of them have demonstrated conclusive evidence to ameliorate the neurodegeneration in PD patients. Difficulties in clinical studies may be caused by the long‐standing progression of neurodegeneration, lack of biomarkers for premotor stage of PD and inadequate drug delivery across blood–brain barrier. Solutions for these challenges will be warranted for future studies with novel antioxidative treatment in PD patients.

Original languageEnglish
Article number597
Pages (from-to)1-32
Number of pages32
Issue number7
StatePublished - 07 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • Antioxidant
  • Coenzyme Q10
  • Creatine
  • Desferroxamine
  • Iron
  • Melatonin
  • Mitochondria
  • Neuroinflammation
  • Oxidative stress
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Pioglitazone
  • Radical oxidative species
  • Vitamin E


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