Neurological disorders such as stroke, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases are associated with high morbidity and mortality, and few or no effective options are available for their treatment. These disorders share common pathological characteristics like the induction of oxidative stress, abnormal protein aggregation, perturbed Ca2+
homeostasis, excitotoxicity, inflammation and apoptosis. A large body of evidence supports the beneficial effects of the Mediterranean diet in preventing neurodegeneration. As the Mediterranean diet is characterized by a high consumption of extra-virgin olive oil it has been hypothesized that olive oil, and in particular its phenols, could be responsible for the beneficial effect of the Mediterranean diet. This review provides an updated vision of the beneficial properties of olive oil and olive oil phenols in preventing/counteracting both acute and chronic neurodegenerative diseases.
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