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Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity
Volume 2016, Article ID 1543809, 15 pages
Review Article

Lipids and Oxidative Stress Associated with Ethanol-Induced Neurological Damage

1Tecnologico de Monterrey, Escuela Nacional de Medicina, 64710 Monterrey, NL, Mexico
2Unidad de Biofísica (CSIC, UPV/EHU) and Departamento de Bioquímica, Universidad del País Vasco, Apartado 644, 48080 Bilbao, Spain

Received 26 September 2015; Revised 10 December 2015; Accepted 13 December 2015

Academic Editor: Tanea T. Reed

Copyright © 2016 José A. Hernández 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.


The excessive intake of alcohol is a serious public health problem, especially given the severe damage provoked by chronic or prenatal exposure to alcohol that affects many physiological processes, such as memory, motor function, and cognitive abilities. This damage is related to the ethanol oxidation in the brain. The metabolism of ethanol to acetaldehyde and then to acetate is associated with the production of reactive oxygen species that accentuate the oxidative state of cells. This metabolism of ethanol can induce the oxidation of the fatty acids in phospholipids, and the bioactive aldehydes produced are known to be associated with neurotoxicity and neurodegeneration. As such, here we will review the role of lipids in the neuronal damage induced by ethanol-related oxidative stress and the role that lipids play in the related compensatory or defense mechanisms.