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Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity
Volume 2012, Article ID 132146, 9 pages
Review Article

Oxidative Stress in Alzheimer's and Parkinson's Diseases: Insights from the Yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae

Instituto de Tecnologia Química e Biológica, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Oeiras, Portugal

Received 12 February 2012; Revised 3 April 2012; Accepted 3 April 2012

Academic Editor: Marcos Dias Pereira

Copyright © 2012 Catarina Pimentel et al. 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.


Alzheimer's (AD) and Parkinson's (PD) diseases are the two most common causes of dementia in aged population. Both are protein-misfolding diseases characterized by the presence of protein deposits in the brain. Despite growing evidence suggesting that oxidative stress is critical to neuronal death, its precise role in disease etiology and progression has not yet been fully understood. Budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae shares conserved biological processes with all eukaryotic cells, including neurons. This fact together with the possibility of simple and quick genetic manipulation highlights this organism as a valuable tool to unravel complex and fundamental mechanisms underlying neurodegeneration. In this paper, we summarize the latest knowledge on the role of oxidative stress in neurodegenerative disorders, with emphasis on AD and PD. Additionally, we provide an overview of the work undertaken to study AD and PD in yeast, focusing the use of this model to understand the effect of oxidative stress in both diseases.