Galactose alters markers of oxidative stress and acetylcholinesterase activity in the cerebrum of rats: protective role of antioxidants
The etiopathogenic mechanisms of schizophrenia are to date unknown, although several hypotheses have been suggested. Accumulating evidence suggests that excessive free radical production or oxidative stress may be involved in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia as evidenced by increased production of reactive oxygen or decreased antioxidant protection in schizophrenic patients. This review aims to summarize the basic molecular mechanisms of free radical metabolism, the impaired antioxidant defense system and membrane pathology in schizophrenia, their interrelationships with the characteristic clinical symptoms and the implications for antipsychotic treatments. In schizophrenia, there is accumulating evidence of altered antioxidant enzyme activities and increased levels of lipid peroxidation, as well as altered levels of plasma antioxidants. Moreover, free radical-mediated abnormalities may contribute to specific aspects of schizophrenic symptomatology and complications of its treatment with antipsychotic drugs, as well as the development of tardive dyskinesia (TD). Finally, the potential therapeutic strategies implicated by the accumulating data on oxidative stress mechanisms for the treatment of schizophrenia are discussed.