Elevation of glutathione as a therapeutic strategy in Alzheimer disease

Chava B. Pocernich, D. Allan Butterfield

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

284 Scopus citations


Oxidative stress has been associated with the onset and progression of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and Alzheimer disease (AD). AD and MCI brain and plasma display extensive oxidative stress as indexed by protein oxidation, lipid peroxidation, free radical formation, DNA oxidation, and decreased antioxidants. The most abundant endogenous antioxidant, glutathione, plays a significant role in combating oxidative stress. The ratio of oxidized to reduced glutathione is utilized as a measure of intensity of oxidative stress. Antioxidants have long been considered as an approach to slow down AD progression. In this review, we focus on the elevation on glutathione through N-acetyl-cysteine (NAC) and γ-glutamylcysteine ethyl ester (GCEE) as a potential therapeutic approach for Alzheimer disease. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Antioxidants and Antioxidant Treatment in Disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)625-630
Number of pages6
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - Molecular Basis of Disease
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2012

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported in part by NIH grants to D.A.B. [ AG-05119 ].


  • Alzheimer disease (AD)
  • Amyloid β-peptide
  • Glutathione (GSH)
  • Mild cognitive impairment (MCI)
  • N-acetylcysteine (NAC)
  • γ-Glutamylcysteine ethyl ester

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology


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