Oxidative stress is implicated in neuronal loss associated with neurodegeneration such as in Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease and age-related cognitive decline. Recent reports indicate that the consumption of flavonoid-rich fruits partly reverses the age-related neuronal and cognitive decline. In this study, cultured striatal neurons were exposed to oxidized lipids in the form of low-density lipoprotein (oxLDL) as a model for the induction of oxidative injury, and the abilities of phenolic antioxidants, flavonoids and hydroxycinnamic acid derivatives, to attenuate this neuronal damage were examined. OxLDL was demonstrated to enter neuronal cells and to be capable of eliciting neurotoxicity in a dose- and time-dependent manner, inducing DNA fragmentation and cell lysis. Flavonoids exert protective effects, which appear to be related to specific structural characteristics, particularly relevant being those defining their reduction potentials and partition coefficients. In summary, these data suggest a possible role for flavonoids in reducing neurodegeneration associated with chronic disorders in which oxidative stress is implicated.