Parkinson?s Disease (PD) is an age associated neurodegenerative disease characterized as a movement disorder. Oxidative and
nitrosative stress are important molecular determinants of PD pathogenesis. Glutathione (GSH) depletion and mitochondrial
dysfunction are evident during PD. Oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction, in the substantia nigra (SN) of the PD brain,
have been well documented. However the status of such markers in the non-SN regions of the PD brain has not been studied
extensively. The present study therefore aimed to evaluate oxidative stress markers such as GSH levels and astrocytic proliferation
in the non-SN regions of PD brain.
Results indicated that in contrast to the SN, these anatomical regions exhibited a 3-5 fold increase in GSH levels, suggesting
a probable compensatory mechanism for neuroprotection in these regions. Further, to confirm the neuroprotective ability of
antioxidants, we evaluated the efficacy of the natural polyphenolic compound, curcumin, in cell and animal models of PD.
Chronic dietary supplementation with turmeric protected SN neurons against 1-methyl 4-phenyl 1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine
(MPTP) mediated cell loss in vivo. However, the therapeutic application of curcumin/turmeric in vivo is limited by its poor
bioavailability. We, therefore used bioconjugates (diesters at the phenoxyl groups) of curcumin with enhanced bioavailability, and
observed improved neuroprotective efficacy in vitro and in dopaminergic neuronal cells. Our findings suggests that the non-SN
regions of the PD brain are protected from oxidative stress, probably by increased antioxidant load. Natural antioxidants such as
curcumin and its synthetic bioconjugates can serve as efficient therapeutic candidates in neurodegenerative disorders such as PD.
Dr. Rajeswara B. Mythri completed PhD from National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS), Bangalore, India and is currently
pursuing post doctoral research in the Department of Neurochemistry, NIMHANS, Bangalore, India. She has published 15 papers including 1 book
chapter and 2 reviews in reputed, peer reviewed National and International Journals. She has presented papers in various National and International
conferences and has been awarded twice for the ?Best Oral presentation?
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