Neurobiology of Disease

 


 
 
 
Date: May 16, 2007 (Wednesday)
Time: 10 a.m.
Theme: Neurodegeneration: Parkinson's disease
Module: ToolBox
Session: Toxic shakes and stumbles: A Sherlock Holmes detective kit
Instructor: Spencer
Description: Evidence grows for exogenous (toxic) factors in the etiology of neurodegenerative diseases. This is established for certain self-limiting "exotic" motorsystem disorders linked to biological excitotoxins consumed in food (1). Progressive disorders, notably Parkinson disease, is mimicked byMPTP (2), with research now focused on agents with pesticidal properties.Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) occurs in high-incidence among Italian soccer players and U.S. Gulf War Veterans, and differentially among British twins -- observations suggesting an environmental component in the etiology of sporadic ALS. In similar vein, combined ALS, parkinsonism (P), and Alzheimer-like dementia (D) is disappearing in three genetically distinct populations that have abandoned traditional medicine and food in their acculturation to modernity (3).
  1. Lathyrism (grasspea, beta-N-oxalylamino-L-alanine); Konzo (cassava, cyanate?); Amnestic Shellfish Poisoning (domoate); Mildewed Sugarcane poisoning (dystonia).
  2. 1-Methyl 4-phenyl 1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine, a side-product in the illicit synthesis of an opioid (MPPP).
  3. Cycad-associated Western Pacific ALS/PDC among Chamorros of Guam; Japan residents of Kii Peninsula, Honshu; and Auyu and Jaqai linguistic groups of West Papua, Indonesia.
 
Readings: Behavioral Measures OF Neurotoxicity
Report of a Symposium

NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS
Washington, D.C. 1990

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Experimental and Clinical Neurotoxicology
SECOND EDITION

NEW YORK OXFORD OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS 2000
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Additional Readings: [ Video ]