Food Plant Chemicals Linked With Neurological and Neurodegenerative Disease

Peter S. Spencer, Valerie Palmer

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

6 Scopus citations


Many plants regularly consumed by humans contain substances that in sufficient doses have the potential to induce neurological disease. Susceptibility varies but often includes a poor nutritional state associated with poverty and nutritional dependency on components of single plants for food. Neurological diseases associated with plant toxicity are not uncommonly first attributed to other causes, most often infectious agents. Acute and self-limiting chronic neurological diseases, as well as progressive neurodegenerative disorders, have been linked to plant-derived chemicals consumed in food. This large subject is illustrated here by (a) ackee- and lychee-associated acute hypoglycemic encephalopathy, (b) chronic motorsystem disease caused by dependency on cassava or grasspea, and (c) soursop and cycad-associated neurodegenerative disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEnvironmental Factors in Neurodegenerative Diseases
EditorsMichael Aschner, Lucio G. Costa, Lucio G. Costa
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages32
ISBN (Print)9780128127643
StatePublished - Jan 2017

Publication series

NameAdvances in Neurotoxicology
ISSN (Electronic)2468-7480


  • Acetogenins
  • Ackee and lychee
  • BMAA
  • BOAA
  • Cassava
  • Cycad
  • Grasspea
  • Hypoglycin
  • Nonprotein amino acids
  • Soursop

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience (miscellaneous)
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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