Kampō medicine and Muro disease (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and Parkinsonism-Dementia Complex)

Peter S. Spencer, Valerie S. Palmer, Tameko Kihira, Sohei Yoshida, Jacques Reis, Momoko Yabushita, Yoshiro Yase

Research output: Contribution to journalLetter


Western Pacific Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and Parkinsonism-dementia Complex (ALS/PDC) is a disappearing neurodegenerative disease in three former high-incidence foci of Guam-USA, Papua-Indonesia and Kii Peninsula, Honshu Island, Japan. The latter includes two distinct ALS/PDC-affected regions (Hohara and Kozagawa), where the disorder is known as Muro disease. In Hohara, oral exposure to plant (cycad) neurotoxins used in traditional medical practice has been linked previously to Muro disease. We report new observations that link Kampō medicine to Muro disease in the southern Kozagawa focus. Oral exposure to cycad seed toxins is associated with all three foci of Western Pacific ALS/PDC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100230
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2020



  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and Parkinsonism-Dementia Complex
  • Cycad seed
  • Honshu, Japan
  • Kii peninsula
  • Sotetsu
  • Traditional/folk medical practice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology

Cite this

Spencer, P. S., Palmer, V. S., Kihira, T., Yoshida, S., Reis, J., Yabushita, M., & Yase, Y. (2020). Kampō medicine and Muro disease (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and Parkinsonism-Dementia Complex). eNeurologicalSci, 18, [100230]. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ensci.2020.100230