CONSUMPTION OF UNREGULATED FOOD ITEMS (FALSE MORELS) AND RISK FOR NEURODEGENERATIVE DISEASE (AMYOTROPHIC LATERAL SCLEROSIS)

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Abstract

Unknown environmental factors are thought to contribute to the etiology of sporadic forms of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Strong evidence supporting this view is found in the post-World War decline and disappearance of high-incidence ALS in three Western Pacific populations that formerly utilized neurotoxic cycad seed as a traditional source of food and/or medicine. The principal toxins in cycads (cycasin) and in False Morel mushrooms (gyromitrin) generate methyl free radicals that damage DNA and cause mutation and uncontrolled division of cycling cells and degeneration of late-/post-mitotic neurons. Since False Morels are scavenged for food in Finland, Russia, Spain, and USA, research studies are underway in Western Europe and USA to determine if the practice is associated with sporadic ALS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)93-98
Number of pages6
JournalHealth Risk Analysis
Volume2020
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 2020

Keywords

  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
  • cycad seed
  • cycasin
  • DNA damage
  • Finland
  • Guam
  • gyromitrin
  • Russia
  • USA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy
  • Health Informatics
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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