Lipids and Oxidative Stress Associated with Ethanol-Induced Neurological Damage
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© 2016 José A. Hernández et al.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.