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December 1991

Oxygen Radicals and Neuropsychiatric IllnessSome Speculations

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Psychiatry, San Diego (Calif) Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1991;48(12):1097-1106. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1991.01810360061009

• Free radicals are reactive chemical species with an unpaired electron that are produced through a variety of physiologic and pathologic processes. Free radicals have been implicated in a variety of neuropsychiatric conditions, many of which are marked by the gradual development of psychopathologic symptoms and movement disorder. There is evidence that radical-induced damage may be important in Parkinson's disease, tardive dyskinesia, metal intoxication syndromes, and Down's syndrome, and possibly also in schizophrenia, Huntington's disease, and Alzheimer's disease. Although some of this evidence is highly speculative, it may offer an avenue for further understanding and treatment of these conditions.