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:2/13/2016)... Springs, FL (PRWEB) , ... February 13, 2016 , ... ... the environmental impact of American businesses. , The increasingly modern world of instantaneous ... more often on non-renewable energy sources such as oil and coal, which pollutes our ...
(Date:2/13/2016)... ... February 13, 2016 , ... In the early or “honeymoon” stage of a ... go out of their way to be romantic, and may exaggerate a strength or ... any online dating profile. , A recent study from Queendom.com , however, ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... ... February 12, 2016 , ... The law firm of Morrow, Morrow, ... The purpose of these scholarships is to encourage applicants to pursue a degree ... employment within these two parishes. , “We have available jobs in St. Landry ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... ... February 12, 2016 , ... Fixed ... p.m. – 3:00 p.m. EST, http://www.fdanews.com/fixeddosecombination , Fixed ... pharmaceutical products, garnering increased attention from all stakeholders in the development of new ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... ... February 12, 2016 , ... ... nominations have closed for the ISE Southeast Awards 2016. Finalists and winners of ... the ISE® Southeast Executive Forum and Awards Gala on March 15, 2016 at ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/11/2016)... 11, 2016 Laboratory glassware and ... laboratories. These may range from microscope slides to large ... made from borosilicate glass because of its low weight ... other hand, started gaining popularity over the past decade ... replace glass with plastic in several applications due to ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... , Feb. 11, 2016  Walgreens has committed ... 39 states and Washington, D.C. as ... move that was commended by shareholder advocacy organization As You ... As You Sow. "Many people hold on to unneeded drugs ... can have tragic consequences." --> Conrad MacKerron ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... FRANCISCO , Feb. 11, 2016   Health ... advancement of new health technologies, announced today " 10 ... achievements in health tech over the past ten years.   ... For nearly a decade, Health 2.0 has served as ... showcased and connected with thousands of technologies, companies, innovators, ...
Breaking Medicine Technology:
Cached News: