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Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity
Volume 2012, Article ID 163913, 13 pages
Review Article

The Bad, the Good, and the Ugly about Oxidative Stress

School of Medicine, Medical Research Institute, Neuroscience Research Group, University of Antioquia (UdeA), SIU, Calle 62 # 52-59, Building 1, Room 412, Medellin 1226, Colombia

Received 10 December 2011; Revised 16 January 2012; Accepted 7 February 2012

Academic Editor: Marcos Dias Pereira

Copyright © 2012 Marlene Jimenez-Del-Rio and Carlos Velez-Pardo. 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 disease (AD), Parkinson’s disease (PD), and cancer (e.g., leukemia) are the most devastating disorders affecting millions of people worldwide. Except for some kind of cancers, no effective and/or definitive therapeutic treatment aimed to reduce or to retard the clinic and pathologic symptoms induced by AD and PD is presently available. Therefore, it is urgently needed to understand the molecular basis of these disorders. Since oxidative stress (OS) is an important etiologic factor of the pathologic process of AD, PD, and cancer, understanding how intracellular signaling pathways respond to OS will have a significant implication in the therapy of these diseases. Here, we propose a model of minimal completeness of cell death signaling induced by OS as a mechanistic explanation of neuronal and cancer cell demise. This mechanism might provide the basis for therapeutic design strategies. Finally, we will attempt to associate PD, cancer, and OS. This paper critically analyzes the evidence that support the “oxidative stress model” in neurodegeneration and cancer.