Parkinson’s Disease is a neurodegenerative disease that is pathologically characterized by abnormal a-synuclein protein aggregation, dopamine depletion in nigrostriatal neurons, and the subsequent death of these neurons. Oxidative stress has been widely implicated as a cause for neurodegenerative diseases, especially Parkinson’s Disease (PD). The mechanisms by which oxidative stress occurs in PD neurons and causes cell death remain obscure. Recent research has revealed several mechanisms by which a-synuclein and oxidative stress may induce cell death in PD, providing potential targets for therapies. The roles of a-synuclein, PD-inducing drugs, and DJ-1 as well as their involvement in oxidative stress production and apoptosis are reviewed.
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