Oxidative stress is characterized by the imbalance between production and accumulation of oxidants and the ability to detoxify these reactive products. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) and free radicals have a direct damaging effect on cellular functions and are involved in the pathogenesis of several diseases, including atherosclerosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease and cancer. Recently, research has focused on the possible beneficial role of antioxidant treatments against oxidative stress-related diseases. However, their efficacy and mechanisms of action are still debated. This review aims to clarify the mechanisms underlying oxidative stress and the development and progression of several oxidative stress-related diseases.
Oxidative stress, defined as the imbalance between the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and antioxidant defences, is now known to be directly involved in the pathogenesis of numerous pathologies. Nevertheless, the extent to which redox imbalance participates in the development or progression of oxidative stress-related diseases is still not fully understood. Therefore, determining whether it plays a primary or secondary role remains challenging; this could have important therapeutical implications since understanding the mechanisms underlying the correlation between oxidative stress and the pathogenesis of the related pathologies could allow to correctly define therapeutic targets and address therapeutic choices. This brief review aims to summarize the relationship between oxidative stress and the development and progression of several diseases, focusing on ear, nose and throat (ENT) pathologies and highlighting the future perspectives of antioxidant treatments.
Background: Craniofacial neuralgias are considered a highly unmet medical need. The understanding of neuropathic pain pathophysiology remains challenging, hindering the development of new therapeutic strategies. Recent evidence has shown that oxidative stress plays a crucial role in neuralgias pathogenesis.Therefore, antioxidant compounds have been proposed as possible treatments. Methods: We conducted a national survey involving 13 Italian ENT centres to analyse current craniofacial neuropathic pain treatments and evaluate their efficacy. Results: Craniofacial neuralgias negatively affected the patients’ Quality of Life (QoL), causing sleep disturbances, reduced work performance and the impediment of regular meals. Three months after the start of the treatments, patients treated with dietary supplements based on alpha-lipoic acid, acetyl L-carnitine and vitamin B complex (Tioneural Retard®) showed the greatest reduction in the VAS score attributed to neuralgia discomfort (p<0.001) Conclusions: Antioxidant compounds, due to their neuroprotective effects, effectively reduce neuropathic pain. Therefore, oxidative stress reduction appears to be a promising direction of neuropathic pain treatment and gives hope to patients currently forced to live with chronic, often disabling pain.
BACKGROUND: Tinnitus affects more than 10% of the population, with a high social and economic burden. Although several hypotheses have been proposed to explain tinnitus development, the aetiology remains unclear, hindering the development of effective therapies. However, recent evidence has shown that oxidative stress plays a crucial role in tinnitus pathogenesis, sparking a growing interest in nutraceuticals as potentially effective treatment approaches. METHODS: We conducted a national survey to analyse the tinnitus management strategies and evaluate their efficacy. RESULTS: Our results showed that tinnitus is still not considered a full-fledged pathology and is not adequately treated. Among the treatments, dietary supplements based on alpha-lipoic acid, acetyl L-carnitine and vitamin B complex (Tioneural Retard®) have proven effective in reducing the discomfort induced by tinnitus. CONCLUSIONS: The growing attention paid to oxidative stress as a cause of tinnitus and a possible therapeutic target seems to represent a promising treatment direction.
During physiological processes and stressful conditions (pollution, chemical agents, radiation, sports),the body releases free radicals, especially reactive oxygen species (ROS), unstable and particularly reactive molecules. Although the body has developed several defence mechanisms to neutralise free radicals, ROS production can increase in numerous conditions, triggering an imbalance redox condition known as oxidative stress, which affects proteins, lipids and nucleic acids, damaging their structure and their normal functionality. Mitochondria are the major producers of ROS and organelles that undergo the most impacting structural and functional alterations in case of oxidative stress. Mitochondrial dysfunctions caused by ROS accumulation typically result in a decrease in cellular energy production, accelerating the ageing processes and inducing important tissue alterations. The involvement of oxidative stress in the development of various pathological processes, including inner ear disorders and oral-facial pain, is now recognized. In this context, various molecules with antioxidant functions, such as alpha-lipoic acid (ALA) and acetyl L-carnitine (ALCAR), could be useful in inactivating free radicals and triggering chemical reactions to hinder the perpetuation of the inflammatory state.