HOME >> MEDICINE >> NEWS
National Tropical Botanical Garden reports possible dietary link and neurodegenerative disease

Kalaheo, HI November 10, 2003 A study published in today's online Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences suggests a possible dietary link to a devastating neurological disease that has long afflicted the Chamorro population of Guam. Drs. Paul Alan Cox, Sandra Banack, and Susan J. Murch of the National Tropical Botanical Garden's Institute for Ethnobotany in Hawaii found that a neurotoxin (BMAA) produced by cyanobacteria, which lives in the roots of the Guamanian cycad tree, accumulates in the food chain of the Chamorros a process known as biomagnification. This was confirmed when the researchers discovered BMAA in the brain tissue of Chamorros who died from the disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis-Parkinsonism dementia complex (ALS-PDC).

"Drs. Banack, Murch and I found BMAA in increasingly higher concentrations as it moved up the food chain to the Chamarros up to 1,000 times higher in their food source than in the cyanobacteria," said Dr. Cox, Director of the Institute for Ethnobotany. "Our study shows there is a link between cyanobacterial BMAA and Guamanian ALS-PDC."

People with ALS-PDC may exhibit symptoms of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS; also known as Lou Gehrig's disease), Alzheimer's, and Parkinson's disease. ALS-PDC is virtually limited to the Chamorro people of Guam, and at one time, occurred at 50 to100 times the rate of ALS elsewhere.

Previous research1 by Dr. Cox and the neurologist Oliver Sacks, M.D., suggests that the Chamorros were exposed to BMAA through consumption of a type of bat, flying foxes, which feed on cycad seeds. They also theorized that biomagnification occurred, in which neurotoxins accumulate in successively higher levels from cycad seeds to flying foxes to the Chamorro people.

Dr. Cox likens the biomagnification of BMAA, an amino acid once found only in cycads, to the biomagnification of mercury, DDT, PCBs, and other pesticides and pollutants that accumulate to often dangerous le
'"/>

Contact: Todd Ringler
todd.ringler@edelman.com
212-704-4572
Edelman Public Relations
10-Nov-2003


Page: 1 2

Related medicine news :

1. National Academies advisory: May 2 Symposium on International Science Policy
2. National Academies News: William H. Foege to receive Public Welfare Medal, Academys highest honor
3. National Academies news: Academy honors 17 for major contributions to science
4. National Academies advisory: Report assesses health implications of perchlorate exposure
5. National Academies Advisory: Jan. 11 public briefing on perchlorate in drinking water
6. National Academies news: Gulf War and Health
7. National survey shows few physicians elected to Congress
8. Six new Roybal Centers for Applied Gerontology established by National Institute on Aging
9. UGA professor receives $3 million grant from National Cancer Institute for breast cancer research
10. National Academies advisory: Nov. 4-6 Frontiers of Science meeting in Irvine, Calif.
11. National Chemistry Week celebrates health and wellness in Washington, D.C., area

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:10/13/2017)... ... , ... As health professionals work to improve their approach to healthcare, there ... more than filling out a survey; in many cases health professionals and patients are ... care and research on the importance of active engagement with patients and members of ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... , ... The American Board of Family Medicine's (ABFM) Board of Directors has ... succeeding Dr. James C. Puffer upon his retirement. Dr. Newton will serve in the ... at the end of 2018. Upon assuming the role of President and CEO on ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... , ... PurhealthRX , a leading Health and Nutrition Company, is announcing ... full spectrum CBD oil will revolutionize the rapidly growing CBD market by reducing the ... incorporated into liquid products, while reducing costs to end users. , The team of ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... Lori R. Somekh, founder of ... ElderCounsel, a national organization of elder law and special needs planning attorneys. “Membership in ... It also provides a forum to network with elder law attorneys nationwide,” said Somekh. ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... Many families have long-term insurance that covers ... companies have a waiver for care if the client has a cognitive impairment diagnosis. ... pays for care, is often waived, so the benefits from their insurance start immediately,” ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/2/2017)... 2017  AllianceRx Walgreens Prime, the combined central specialty ... pharmacy benefit manager Prime Therapeutics LLC (Prime), today officially ... the unveiling of new signage at its headquarters in ... at a few other company-owned facilities across the country. ... some of whom will begin to see the AllianceRx ...
(Date:9/28/2017)... Sept. 28, 2017 Hill-Rom Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: ... conference call and webcast on Friday, November 3, 2017, ... and ending at approximately 8:30 a.m. (CDT) / 9:30 ... company,s 2017 financial performance and guidance for 2018, Hill-Rom ... to enhance operational performance, and long-range financial outlook through ...
(Date:9/27/2017)... and NEW YORK , Sept. 27, 2017  DarioHealth ... and big data solutions, today announced that its MyDario product is expected ... local TV listings for when The Dr. Oz Show airs in your ... The nine-time Emmy ... ...
Breaking Medicine Technology:
Cached News: