The superiority of oxidative stress and/or the inadequacy of antioxidant capacity have an important role in disease. Decreased antioxidant availability has been observed in the pathogenesis of many different diseases affecting the brain, such as mitochondrial disorders, cerebral ischaemia and epilepsy. Oxidative and antioxidative status in children with cerebral palsy aged 1-12 years was investigated in this study and compared with healthy controls. Sixty-nine patients with cerebral palsy and 42 controls were enrolled in the study. Lipid peroxidation in the cerebral palsy group was significantly higher than that in the controls (7.54 +/- 3.64 mu mol H2O2/L and 5.84 +/- 1.25 mu mol H2O2/L, respectively) (P = 0.02). Serum total antioxidant capacity levels were also markedly lower in the CP group than in the control group (1.42 +/- 0.22 mmol Trolox equiv./L and 1.64 +/- 0.17 mmol Trolox equiv./L, respectively) (P = 0.003). Uric acid and albumin concentrations were lower in the study group than in the control group. Based on these results, we concluded that oxidants were increased and antioxidants were decreased in the cerebral palsy group, and, as a result, the oxidative/antioxidative balance shifted to the oxidative side in children with cerebral palsy. (c) 2006 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.