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Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity
Volume 2 (2009), Issue 2, Pages 63-67

Oxidative Stress and Anxiety: Relationship and Cellular Pathways

Neurotoxicologie Alimentaire et Bioactivit, UR AFPA, Universit Paul Verlaine de Metz-INPL, INRA, Metz, France

Received 16 January 2009; Revised 20 January 2009; Accepted 26 January 2009

Copyright © 2009 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


High O2 consumption, modest antioxidant defenses and a lipid-rich constitution make the brain highly vulnerable to redox imbalances. Oxidative damage in the brain causes nervous system impairment. Recently, oxidative stress has also been implicated in depression, anxiety disorders and high anxiety levels. The findings which establish a link between oxidative stress and pathological anxiety have inspired a number of other recent studies focusing on the link between oxidative status and normal anxiety and also on a possible causal relationship between cellular oxidative stress and emotional stress. This review examines the recent discoveries made on the link between oxidative status and normal anxiety levels and the putative role of oxidative stress in genesis of anxiety. We discuss the different opinions and questions that exist in the field and review the methodological approaches that are being used to determine a causal relationship between oxidative and emotional stress.