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Public release date: 7-Nov-2007

Boston, MA—David Farb, PhD, recently had an abstract selected that was highlighted by the Society for Neuroscience (SFN). The abstract details how antioxidants influence dopamine release from striatal synaptosomes. It will be presented at SFN’s 37th annual meeting November 7th in San Diego, California.

Farb’s abstract details the relationship between antioxidants and dopamine. Antioxidants can protect the central nervous system from oxidative damage. The level of oxidation and reduction of molecules reflects conditions within the nervous tissue. Increased levels of oxidative damage are believed to be involved in neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and stroke.

Researchers sought to determine whether the presence of antioxidant compounds could influence spontaneous dopamine release from synaptosomes. They concluded that the release of dopamine could be influenced by numerous factors, including input from other neurotransmitters as well as the reducing/oxidizing state of the cell. Inclusion of the water soluble, sulfhydryl containing antioxidant glutathione, or the glutathione precursor NAC lowered spontaneous dopamine release by 85 percent. The antioxidant vitamin E had no effect on dopamine release.

“Not all antioxidants are equivalent,” said Farb. “Our results suggest that the ability of NAC or glutathione at therapeutic doses to rapidly and reversibly stabilize the release of dopamine raises the possibility that such antioxidants may have significant potential for the treatment of oxidative damage in neurodegenerative diseases.”

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