Redox dysregulation occurs following a disequilibrium between reactive oxygen species (ROS) producing and degrading systems, i.e. mitochondria, nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH) oxidases and nitric oxide synthase (NOS) on one hand and the principal antioxidant system, the glutathione, on the other hand.
Increasing recent evidence points towards a pathogenetic role of an altered redox state in the development of several mental disorders, such as anxiety, bipolar disorders, depression, psychosis, autism and post-traumaticstress disorders (PTSD). In this regard, pharmacological targeting of the redox state regulating systems in the brain has been proposed as an innovative and promising therapeutic approach for the treatment of these mental diseases.
This review will summarize current knowledge obtained from both pre-clinical and clinical studies in order to descant “lights and shadows” of targeting pharmacologically both the producing and degrading reactive oxygen species (ROS) systems in psychiatric disorders.