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Compositions containing as the active ingredient a spin-trapping reagent, preferably α-phenyl butyl nitrone (PBN) or spin-trapping derivatives thereof, in a suitable pharmaceutical carrier for administration to a patient are disclosed for treating or preventing symptoms associated with aging or other conditions associated with oxidative tissue damage. Other spin-trapping agents can also be used, such as 5,5-dimethyl pyrroline N-oxide (DMPO) or α-(4-pyridyl 1-oxide)-N-tert-butylnitrone (POBN), and other spin-trapping derivatives thereof. These compositions and methods are useful in the treatment of age-related disorders, pre-surgical and/or pre-anesthetic preparation or administration of chemotherapeutic agents, and in the treatment of disorders or trauma of the brain, cardiovascular system, and lymphatic system. Studies in animals demonstrate that administration of compound for a two week period reduces the level of oxidized brain enzymes to normal and restores memory to the same level as tested in young control animals.


Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation, Oklahoma City, Okla., University of Kentucky Research Foundation, Lexington, Ky.

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