Understanding disease pathology regarding disorders of the nervous and vascular systems as well as successfully treating both acute and chronic degenerative diseases has proven to be one of the most challenging issues the scientific and medical communities have faced in the past century. It is estimated that more than 500 million individuals worldwide are suffering from such disorders as stroke, Alzheimer's-type dementia, Parkinson's disease, traumatic brain injury, mild cognitive impairment, and hypertension. It is predicted that, in the coming years, this number is likely to increase significantly. One reason for this is the significant risks associated with the nervous and vascular systems. Recent observations have shown that organs, such as the brain, are highly susceptible to cellular injury via free radical oxidation due to the large amount of oxygen consumed by the brain and the relatively limited ability to overcome cellular injury, and it is theorized that these factors lead to the production of cellular oxidative stress. Current studies estimate that the high levels of oxidative stress could potentially play a significant role in the onset of pathological complications as well as being a major player in aging mechanisms.
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Published online: August 27, 2010
© 2010 Elsevier B.V. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.