Neurotoxicity Research

, Volume 35, Issue 3, pp 739–774 | Cite as

Protective Effects of Antioxidants in Huntington’s Disease: an Extensive Review

  • Musthafa Mohamed EssaEmail author
  • Marzieh Moghadas
  • Taher Ba-Omar
  • M. Walid Qoronfleh
  • Gilles J. Guillemin
  • Thamilarasan Manivasagam
  • Arokiasamy Justin-Thenmozhi
  • Bipul Ray
  • Abid Bhat
  • Saravana Babu Chidambaram
  • Amanda J Fernandes
  • Byoung-Joon Song
  • Mohammed Akbar
Review Article


Huntington’s disease (HD) is a hereditary neurodegenerative disease of the central nervous system (CNS). Onset of HD occurs between the ages of 30 and 50 years, although few cases are reported among children and elderly. HD appears to be less common in some populations such as those of Japanese, Chinese, and African descent. Clinical features of HD include motor dysfunction (involuntary movements of the face and body, abnormalities in gait, posture and balance), cognitive impairment (obsessive-compulsive disorder), and psychiatric disorders (dementia). Mutation in either of the two copies of a gene called huntingtin (HTT), which codes genetic information for a protein called “huntingtin (Htt)”, precipitates the disease in an individual. Expansion of cytosine–adenine–guanine (CAG) triplet repeats in the HTT gene results in an abnormal Htt protein. Intracellular neuronal accumulation of the mutated Htt protein (mHtt) causes distinctive erratic movements associated with HD. Further, excessive accumulation of the HTT gene repeats causes abnormal production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and the ensuing mitochondrial (MT) oxidative stress in neurons. Since there is neither a cure nor a promising strategy to delay onset or progression of HD currently available, therapeutics are mainly focusing only on symptomatic management. Several studies have shown that MT dysfunction-mediated oxidative stress is a key factor for the neurodegeneration observed in HD. Supplementation of antioxidants and nutraceuticals has been widely studied in the management of oxidative damage, an associated complication in HD. Therefore, various antioxidants are used as therapeutics for managing and/or treating HD. The present review aimed at delving into the abnormal cellular changes and energy kinetics of the neurons expressing the mHtt gene and the therapeutic roles of antioxidants in HD.


Huntington’s disease Oxidative stress Neurodegeneration Free radicals Reactive oxygen/nitrogen species Antioxidants 



Huntington’s disease


Huntington gene


Huntington protein


Reactive oxygen species






Medium spiny neurons


Mutant huntingtin





The authors gratefully acknowledge their respective institutions and the support provided by SQU (IG/AGR/FOOD/17/02) in the form of an internal grant. The technical and language editing support was provided by The Editing Refinery, MD, USA, and is highly acknowledged.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Musthafa Mohamed Essa
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Marzieh Moghadas
    • 3
  • Taher Ba-Omar
    • 3
  • M. Walid Qoronfleh
    • 4
  • Gilles J. Guillemin
    • 5
  • Thamilarasan Manivasagam
    • 6
  • Arokiasamy Justin-Thenmozhi
    • 6
  • Bipul Ray
    • 7
  • Abid Bhat
    • 7
  • Saravana Babu Chidambaram
    • 7
  • Amanda J Fernandes
    • 8
  • Byoung-Joon Song
    • 9
  • Mohammed Akbar
    • 9
  1. 1.Department of Food Science and Nutrition, College of Agricultural and Marine SciencesSultan Qaboos UniversityMuscatOman
  2. 2.Ageing and Dementia Research groupSultan Qaboos UniversityMuscatOman
  3. 3.Department of Biology, College of ScienceSultan Qaboos UniversityMuscatOman
  4. 4.Research & Policy Department, World Innovation Summit for Health (WISH)Qatar FoundationDohaQatar
  5. 5.Department of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine and Health SciencesMacquarie UniversitySydneyAustralia
  6. 6.Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of ScienceAnnamalai UniversityChidambaramIndia
  7. 7.Department of Pharmacology, JSS College of PharmacyJSS Academy of Higher Education and ResearchMysoreIndia
  8. 8.Department of BiotechnologyManipal Institute of TechnologyManipalIndia
  9. 9.NIAAA, NIHRockvilleUSA

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