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Margaret Mead
Review Article

Phytochemicals Mediated Remediation of Neurotoxicity Induced by Heavy Metals


Almost all the environmental components including both the abiotic and biotic factors have been consistently threatened by excessive contamination of heavy metals continuously released from various sources. Different heavy metals have been reported to generate adverse effects in many ways. Heavy metals induced neurotoxicity and impairment in signalling cascade leading to cell death (apoptosis) has been indicated by several workers. On one hand, these metals are required by the cellular systems to regulate various biological functions of normal cells, while on the other their biomagnification in the cellular systems produces adverse effects. The mechanism by which the heavy metals induce neurotoxicity follows free radicals production pathway(s) specially the generation of reactive oxygen species and reactive nitrogen species. These free radicals produced in excess have been shown to create an imbalance between the oxidative and antioxidative systems leading to emergence of oxidative stress, which may cause necrosis, DNA damage, and many neurodegenerative disorders. This mini review summarizes the current knowledge available on the protective role of varied natural products isolated from different herbs/plants in imparting protection against heavy metals (cadmium, lead, arsenic, and mercury) mediated neurotoxicity.