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University of Miami

Toxins from algal blooms may cause Alzheimer's-like brain changes

Toxins from algal blooms may cause Alzheimer's-like brain changes

A group of villagers on the Pacific island of Guam has offered some key insight into the role that an environmental toxin may play in brain changes that are a hallmark of Alzheimer's disease. And scientists studying that neurotoxin appear to have found a possible antidote.

In some Chamorro residents in Guam, Army physicians in the 1950s identified a paralytic disease that had similarities to Parkinson's disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, better known as Lou Gehrig's disease) and dementia. Scientists later observed that upon the death of those affected by Guamanian amyotrophic lateral sclerosis-parkinsonism-dementia complex, their brains were found to be riddled with the...

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